Groundbreaking for the New Medical School

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Dr. Soutter and Acting Gov. Sargent at Groundbreaking
Source: Slide collection of H. B. Wheeler, M.D.

Officials At Groundbreaking Ceremony for UMMS
Reprinted with permission of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette
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 evaluate 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).

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