Timeline of Dr. Soutter's Life and Accomplishments
Early years
Medical School and Residency Years
Medical School
& Residency
War Years
Post-War Years
UMMS Years
Later Years

Brief Biographical Sketch
Dr. Lamar Soutter was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1909. His father was a well-known orthopedic surgeon, and his mother was a descendant of a prominent Boston medical family. His early years encompassed several scientific expeditions: a transatlantic sail, a trip across the uncharted Yukon, and a voyage to the Arctic. His residency years were spent in New York City in the mid-1930s. Upon his return to Boston, Massachusetts, his pioneering work in blood banking at the Massachusetts General Hospital set medical milestones in the early 1940s. When World War II erupted, Dr. Soutter joined the Army's Fourth Auxiliary Surgical Unit and was called in to assist the wounded at the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium in 1944. For their valiant efforts, Dr. Soutter and each member of his team were awarded the Silver Star. While at Boston University School of Medicine in the 1950s, his innovative ideas in the training of new physicians were the catalyst for him being named Dean of the State's first medical school in 1963. Dr. Soutter took on the monumental task of planning and creating the new school. Many obstacles had to be overcome: the Massachusetts gubernatorial position changed hands four times, federal funds given during the Johnson administration were rescinded during the Nixon administration, building costs soared from $75 million to $125 million, faculty had to be hired and students selected. Finally in 1970, the University of Massachusetts Medical School opened its doors at its temporary location on Belmont Street in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1973 the new School building opened at its permanent location on Lake Avenue, and in 1976 its adjunct facility, the University of Massachusetts Hospital, began to admit its first patients. Dr. Soutter retired from the Medical School in 1975, but the institutions he founded live on today.

Sources Used on This Page:
  • Thumbnail photographs above (left to right): St. Paul's School Archives; Archives, Columbia University Health Sciences Division; Mrs. Lamar Soutter; Boston University Archives; Worcester Medical News, Worcester District Medical Society; University of Massachusetts Medical School Public Affairs and Publications.
  • Flannery, Jack (comp.). The Sargent Years: Selected Public Papers of Francis W. Sargent, Governor of Massachusetts 1969-1975. Boston: State Library of Massachusetts, 1976.
  • Wheeler, H. B., M.D., Harry M. Haidak Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus. Eulogy of Lamar Soutter, given at Concord, Massachusetts, November 16, 1996.