Established by the Texas Legislature in June 1969, the first class of 19 students entered in 1970. By 1979, class sizes of 200, legislatively supported through state formula funding, were the norm. From a new school with no buildings or students to one of the nation’s outstanding centers of academic medicine, The John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) continues to develop into one of the leading centers of excellence devoted to medical education, research, quality patient care, and community outreach. Take a moment to review a brief summary of milestones that tell the unfolding story of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
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January 1968 Original affiliation agreement is signed between the Hermann Hospital Estate and The University of Texas Board of Regents, making Hermann Hospital the primary teaching facility for the proposed University of Texas Medical School at Houston.
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May 1969 The Texas Legislature approves the UT Medical School at Houston.
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June 1969 Preston signing

Signing

Gov. Preston Smith signs House Bill 80 into law at Texas Medical Center ceremonies in the Sammons Auditorium of the Jesse H. Jones Library Building.
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April 1970 Smythe

First Dean

Cheves McCord Smythe, M.D., is appointed first dean of the new school.
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September 1970 The first class of 19 students is selected and enrolls at UT campuses in three cities.
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June 1971 The first entering class of 32 students to complete all studies in Houston is welcomed at orientation.
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August 1971 Freeman_building

Construction Begins

John H. Freeman Building construction begins.
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October 1972 George Bush, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, dedicates the John H. Freeman Building.
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November 1972 The Medical School joins The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston organizational structure.
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September 1973 Construction of Phase II (523,760 gross-square feet) begins for the Medical School Building, connecting the Freeman Building with Hermann Hospital.
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December 1973 Graduation_1970

First Entering Class

The first class of 19 students is selected and enrolls at UT campuses in three cities.
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December 1974 Charles Berry, M.D., is named the first president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
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December 1975 Robert L. Tuttle, M.D., is named dean of the UT Medical School at Houston.
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July 1976 Flood?1976

Devastating Flood

The nearly completed Medical School Building, connecting the John H. Freeman Building and Hermann Hospital, is devastated by flood.
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August 1976 The first flight of Hermann Life Flight.
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March 1977 Phase_II

Phase II Construction

Phase II construction of the Medical School Building is completed.
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August 1977 The first weekend orientation retreat for new students is hosted by second-year students.
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September 1977 The first four-year class is admitted (class size, 150). The three-year curriculum is phased out with the graduation of the 1976 entering class.
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June 1978 Roger Bulger, M.D., is named the second president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
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June 1978 Phase III construction of the new Medical School Building (which began in 1975) is completed.
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May 1981 The first alumni day event is held.
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June 1981 Knobil_1981

Third Dean

Ernst Knobil, Ph.D., is named the third dean.
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August 1982 Duke_1982

Dr. Red Duke

James “Red” Duke, M.D., professor of surgery, airs the first televised program that would eventually evolve into an internationally syndicated health segment for television.
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October 1982 Alumni_Magazine

The Alumni Magazine

The first issue of The Alumni Magazine is published.
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February 1984 Positron Diagnostic and Research Center, later re-named Cyclotron, opens.
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April 1985 L_Faillace

Acting Dean

Louis A. Faillace, M.D., becomes acting dean.
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July 1985 Webber

Fourth Dean

C. Frank Webber, M.D., is named the fourth dean.
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August 1985 Texas Research Institute for Mental Sciences (TRIMS) becomes the UT Mental Sciences Institute (MSI).
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January 1986 Ribble_1986

Fifth Dean

John C. Ribble, M.D., becomes the fifth dean, having served as associate dean for academic affairs since 1978.
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March 1986 Webber Plaza is dedicated in honor of deceased dean, Dr. Frank Webber.
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April 1986 The first group of students travel to China with Henry Strobel, Ph.D., as part of this ongoing senior program.
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September 1987 John C. Ribble, M.D., is named interim president of the UT Health Science Center by UT Chancellor Hans Mark to serve the dual role of president and dean.
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August 1989 Low_1989

Third President

M. David Low, M.D., Ph.D., is appointed the third president of the UT Health Science Center.
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January 1990 LBJ_Hospital

New Affiliation

The affiliation between the UT Medical School and Harris County Hospital District (Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital) is approved.
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September 1994 Problem-based Learning (PBL) is incorporated into the second-year curriculum.
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November 1994 University Care Plus (UCP) is created as the management services organization for the School’s clinical practice. UCP is later renamed UT Physicians.
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July 1995 Cheves McCord Smythe, M.D., is appointed dean pro tem.
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April 1996 Buja_1996

Sixth Dean

L. Maximilian Buja, M.D., is named the sixth dean of the UT Medical School.
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August 1996 white_coat_1996

White Coat Ceremony

The annual White Coat Ceremony is introduced for new students.
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November 1997 The merger of Hermann Hospital with Memorial Healthcare System is approved and named the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.
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December 1997 Murad

Dr. Murad Awarded Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded to the Medical School’s chairman of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., for his research detailing the biological properties of nitric oxide.
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February 2000 The UT System Board of Regents approves $50 million in Permanent University Funds to launch planning and fundraising for three new buildings, including a Medical School research building.
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March 2001 Willerson

Dr. Willerson Named President

James T. Willerson, M.D., is named president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
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June 2001 truck-uncovered

Tropical Storm Allison

Tropical Storm Allison unleashes 10 million gallons of rain runoff into the basement of the Medical School Building, causing an estimated $205 million in damages. Memorial Hermann Hospital is forced to close for the first time in 70 years.
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June 2004 Schultz

Dean Schultz

Stanley G. Schultz, M.D., is named dean of the UT Medical School, having served as interim dean since June 2003.
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September 2004 Hermann_Professional_Building

UT Professional Building

The University of Texas Health Science Center purchases the Hermann Professional Building and renames it The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building.
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September 2004 After more than three years of construction following the devastation of Tropical Storm Allison, the ground floor of the UT Medical School reopens to student, faculty, and administrative functions.
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March 2005 Demolition of the John Freeman Building begins to make way for the six-story Replacement Research Facility.
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June 2006 Wolinsky

Interim Dean Named

Jerry S. Wolinsky, M.D., is named interim dean of the UT Medical School.
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July 2006 The Medical School’s curriculum is enhanced through the opening of the Surgical and Clinical Skills Center and the John P. McGovern, M.D. Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit.
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October 2006 The National Institutes of Health awards $36 million to establish the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
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August 2007 The UT Medical School welcomes its largest class, 230 students, to address national physician shortage concerns.
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September 2007

ColasurdoDr. Colasurdo Named Dean

Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D., is named dean of the UT Medical School.
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January 2007 Medical_School_Expansion

Medical School Expansion Facility

The Medical School Expansion Facility, home to four stories of laboratory research space and a two-story vivarium, opens.
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August 2008 Kaiser

Dr. Kaiser Named President

Larry R. Kaiser, M.D., is named president of the UT Health Science Center.
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November 2010 The UT System Board of Regents approves a dba for the UT Health Science Center, UTHealth.
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November 2010 40th_anniversary The UTHealth Medical School marks its 40th anniversary of academic excellence with a school-wide celebration in Webber Plaza.
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January 2011 IMM_2011

IMM Joins the Medical School

The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases joins McGovern Medical School as a research institute.
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October 2012 Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D., is named president and the Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chair of UTHealth.
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October 2015 Stoll

Dr. Stoll Named Dean

Barbara J. Stoll, M.D., is named dean of McGovern Medical School.
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November 2015 Transformational gift from the McGovern Foundation renames school to John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School, placing a renewed emphasis on humanism, ethics, research, and scholarship.
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December 6, 2016 McGovern Day Sign Ceremony

Inaugural McGovern Day

The inaugural McGovern Day celebration – a day to honor Dr. John P. and Mrs. Kathrine G. McGovern for their many contribution to our city and our school.