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August 31, 2018

School of Medicine’s 100th Anniversary Celebration

As the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, let us look back at the 100th anniversary celebration held in 1943.

Planning for the centennial began in 1938 when President Leutner appointed a committee “to consider and to lay plans for a celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the School of Medicine.” Arthur D. Baldwin served as honorary chair and Howard T. Karsner served as chair. Committee members included Robert H. Bishop, Jr., Mrs. A. A. Brewster, Victor C. Myers, Frank A. Scott, Torald Sollmann (Dean of the School) with President Leutner serving ex officio. Members added to the committee included Harold E. Adams, Willis E. Corry, James C. Gray, Harold D. Green, William W. Hurst, Edward Muntwyler, and E. D. Whittlesey.

Originally the celebration was planned for 4/5-4/6/1943 in conjunction with the meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (which was planned to meet in Cleveland). However, this meeting was cancelled because of the war. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) was meeting in Cleveland on 10/25-10/26. It was thought by the planning committee that the AAMC meeting would be held “because the work of the Association is directly concerned with the war program, and certainly will not be proscribed by the Office of Defense Transportation.” The centennial celebration was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, 10/27 and 10/28. The days were packed with activities as seen in the program. (Download pdf)

05304D1.jpgWednesday began with a scholarly lecture, “Blood Plasma Proteins, Their Production, Function, Substitution and Replacement,” by Dr. George H. Whipple, Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. A buffet luncheon followed for delegates to the centennial celebration and delegates for the AAMC meeting and invited speakers. The University Convocation was held in Severance Hall at 3:30 p.m. An academic procession led by President Leutner entered through the front entrance with an honor guard of medical students enlisted in the Navy and Army lining the steps. In addition to the president, deans, faculty members, Medical School students in uniform, and 159 delegates from colleges and universities, national societies, state societies and philanthropic foundations made up the procession. After the National Anthem and the invocation were 2 addresses. Howard Karsner, professor of Pathology and director of the Institute of Pathology, spoke on “The Public Service of the School of Medicine.” Dr. Alan Gregg, Director for the Medical Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation, gave the address “The Matrix of Medicine.” Honorary degrees were awarded to 5 people: William Thomas Corlett (Doctor of Humanities), Reginald Fitz (Doctor of Science), Torald Sollmann (Doctor of Laws), Frederick Clayton Waite (Doctor of Humanities), George Hoyt Whipple (Doctor of Science). Dr. Gregg, though nominated, was unable to receive the degree because of the policies of the Rockefeller Foundation. At the convocation President Leutner announced “the gift of a fund of $50,000 by the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the income to be devoted to fellowships in surgery for postgraduate students chosen by the Faculty of Medicine of the University. The fund is to be named for Drs. Frank E. Bunts, George Crile, Sr., and William E. Lower, former members of the Faculty, who founded the Cleveland Clinic in 1921.”

Following the convocation was the One Hundredth Anniversary Celebration Dinner. Dr. Karsner served as toastmaster. Cleveland Mayor Frank J. Lausche gave a welcome, followed by President Leutner who gave a brief history of the School, and then Dean Sollmann who gave an address of welcome which featured a poem written by Emilie Chamberlin Conklin in honor of the celebration. The main address, “The Crimson Thread,” was given by Reginald Fitz, Lecturer on the History of Medicine at Harvard University Medical School.

The Thursday program - a series of lectures given primarily by alumni - was organized by the alumni. It concluded with Dean Sollmann’s address, “Farewell 1943, Hail 2043.” That date is now only 25 years away!

Graduation exercises were held Thursday afternoon. Because of the war, the Medical School was operating under a compressed schedule and 2 classes graduated in 1943 - one in February and one in October. The Alumni Banquet was held in the evening. It featured a business meeting and election of officers of the Alumni Association, the reception of the graduating class into the Alumni Association, and 2 addresses, including university historian and professor emeritus Frederick C. Waite talking about “Episodes in One Hundred Years” of the Medical School.

For 3 weeks the Cleveland Health Museum hosted an exhibit co-sponsored by the Cleveland Medical Library Association and the Western Reserve Historical Society, “100 Years of Medicine.” A preview of the exhibit was held the evening of Tuesday, 10/26. Chauncey D. Leake, Dean of the Medical School at the University of Texas gave a talk, “Milestones in Medicine,” illustrated with lantern slides. Guided tours were provided by Dr. Howard Dittrick, Director of the Museum of Historical Medicine of The Cleveland Medical Library Association.

MEDExhibitInvitation-resized.jpg
Invitation to the exhibit preview

Coverage of the events appeared in various newspapers such as The Plain Dealer and Cleveland Press,The Clevelander, the Clinical Bulletin of the School of Medicine, the Bulletin of the Academy of Medicine, in the Reserve Tribune student newspaper of 11/12/1943(Download pdf) and the alumni newsletter Voice of Reserve. There was also a radio tribute and a broadcast speech by Dr. Harry Goldblatt.

Chairman of the Centennial Committee Howard Karsner concluded in his final report on the Centennial, “Many communications have been received from those who attended the celebration and all have spoken in highly complimentary terms of the occasion. The fact that the country is at war limited the exercises to a considerable degree, but in spite of the handicaps and difficulties, it may be said that the celebration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the School of Medicine, Western Reserve University, was wholly successful.

Posted by hxy2 at August 31, 2018 06:38 PM

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