Groundbreaking for the New Medical School
When Acting Governor Francis W. Sargent took over the reins of government in 1969, he was faced with the
University of Massachusetts Medical School project that was running 35% over the original estimated
budget. He wrestled with the prospect of cancelling the project, since he did not want to burden the
taxpayers with the additional $25 million needed to finish it. He appointed an unbiased committee to
the need for the medical school and its auxiliary hospital. The committee concluded that the project was
a viable one; one that would increase employment and access to health care in central Massachusetts.
They recommended that it should proceed as planned.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new medical school was held on October 23, 1969, at the site off Plantation Street in Worcester. When Acting Governor Sargent and Dr. Soutter shook hands (top left), a new era in medical education and care in Massachusetts began.
In addition to Acting Governor Sargent and Dr. Soutter, the groundbreaking was attended by several local, state, and UMass dignitaries (bottom left).
Sources used for this page:
- Flannery, Jack (comp.). The Sargent Years: Selected Public Papers of Francis W. Sargent, Governor of Massachusetts 1969-1975. Boston: State Library of Massachusetts, 1976.
- Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
- Slide collection of H. B. Wheeler, M.D., Harry M. Haidak Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus