Grouping of photos of old buildings, people pamphlets

Larner Milestones:
Innovation in Medical Education for More Than 200 Years

The UVM Larner College of Medicine has had many milestones over the course of it's 200 years history. As part of our "What's On the Walls" project, a large timeline display now hangs in our gallery space for visitors to explore. On these pages, we share more details about selected events included in that timeline. 

Larner bicentennial logo

Collage of  antique photos of two building and two men


John Pomeroy, M.D., begins teaching medicine to students in his Burlington home.


Nathan Smith, M.D., delivers the first formal lecture of UVM’s “Medical Department” in 1822. The first class graduates in 1823.


The Medical Department’s first home, now known as Pomeroy Hall, is completed.


William Beaumont, M.D., who trained to be a doctor in St. Albans, writes “Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice, and the Physiology of Digestion” believed to be the beginning of the knowledge of digestion.


The economic “Panic of 1837” contributes to the suspension of medical instruction. In 1854, medical classes resume, under first official dean, Samuel White Thayer, M.D.


First classes held in the Medical Department’s second home, donated and renovated by philanthropist John Purple Howard.


First Black UVM medical student, Thomas James Davis, M.D., graduates. Image at right: Cover of 1884 announcement highlighting new home for the College.


Charles Caverly, M.D.1881, describes the first U.S. polio epidemic, in Rutland County.

Grouping of antique photos with building, man and pamphlet

Grouping of photos of old buildings, people, pamphlets


The University of Vermont assumes administrative control of what is now the College of Medicine.


The College building is destroyed by fire on December 3, 1903.


After a December 1903 fire destroys the College’s building, alumni and community members help fund a new structure that opens in June 1905 and houses the College for more than 60 years. This building is known today as Dewey Hall.


Medical school standards recommended by “The Flexner Report” disproportionately impacts Black and women’s medical colleges. Dedicated to the College’s continuation, Dean Henry Cain Tinkham, M.D., secures an additional evaluation from the American Medical Association to prevent closure.


John McRae, M.D., former UVM pathology professor and author of the famous World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” dies in France.


Stung by the loss of a dear friend in the World War, Morrisville native Dorothy Lang leaves a promising career as a silent film actress and gains entry to the College of Medicine. In 1924 she becomes its first female graduate.


A distressing part of our history involves Henry Perkins, Ph.D., professor of zoology at the University of Vermont, who organizes the Eugenics Survey of Vermont, which sought to find evidence of “bad heredity” in over 60 Vermont families. The overall result allowed for a socially acceptable segregation and/or sterilization of those deemed genetically “unfit.”


Dallas Boushey joins the Anatomy Department as a technician and lab assistant, spending 50 years at the College, eventually becoming an anatomy instructor and receiving an honorary doctor of science degree.

Grouping of antique photos of people pamphlets

Grouping of antique photos with three men and one woman


Harriet Dustan, M.D., graduates and goes on to become one of the foremost hypertension researchers of her day.


Thaddeus “Ted” Stabholz, a survivor of six Nazi concentration camps, enters the Class of 1953.


Ethan Allen Simms (a direct descendant of the Green Mountain Boys leader) joins the College’s faculty. Over the next 60 years he will become internationally recognized for his work in diabetes and obesity.


Jerold Lucey, M.D., joins the faculty and continues groundbreaking neonatology work.


R. M. P. Donaghy, M.D.’36, returns from service as a battlefield surgeon in World War II, and pioneers the field of microneurosurgery. In 1958 he founds UVM’s Skull Base Laboratory to teach his techniques.


Moses Alfred Haynes, M.D., becomes the first African American faculty member.


Jackson J. W. Clemmons, Ph.D., M.D., emeritus professor of pathology, joins the College as the second African American faculty member. He will go on to teach and conduct research for more than 30 years.


Jacqueline Noonan, M.D.’54, identifies the rare hereditary heart disease now known as “Noonan Syndrome.”

Grouping of antique photos with three men and one woman

Grouping of photos of old buildings, people, pamphlets


John Mazuzan, M.D.’54, founds the College’s first alumni magazine, called “Hall A.”


After a complete revamping, the College’s curriculum becomes a national model for bringing medical students into clinical learning experiences from the beginning of their medical education.


After more than 60 years on the corner of Prospect Street, the College moves to its newly completed home in the heart of its campus—the Given Building—with room to triple the size of its student body.


Lawrence Weed, M.D., joins the faculty and promotes development of an electronic record organized around patient problems to guide diagnostic and critical thinking.


The UVM Cancer Center is founded. In 1976, Irwin Krakoff, M.D., becomes its first director.


The Medical Student Council is formed. Image at right: Class of 2027 Medical Student Council representatives.


Carol (Lee) Phillips, M.D., becomes the first female department chair, leading the College’s department of pediatrics.


The Medical Student Wellness Committee is formed. Image at right: Class of 2025 Medical Student Wellness Committee representatives.

Grouping of photos of people

Grouping of photos of people  and female symbol


The first year that women matriculants represent the majority of the incoming class.


Faculty member Richard Fishel, Ph.D., is part of a team that isolates the first known colon cancer gene.


The Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (MCHV), Fanny Allen Hospital, and the University Health Center form Fletcher Allen Health Care.


Opening of the Given Assessment Center and the Standardized Patient Program under the direction of Cate Nicholas, Ed.D., M.S., PA.


The Medical Student Leadership Group course is started by alumna Yvette Pigeon, Ed.D., and colleague Dana Walrath, Ph.D., and becomes part of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum in 2003. Its name changes to Professionalism, Communication, and Reflection (PCR) in 2011.


The Health Science Research Facility is completed and adds 110,000 square feet of research space to the College, and directly connects the Given complex with Stafford Hall.


Led by the first associate dean of medical education, Diane Magrane, M.D., the Vermont Integrated Curriculum (VIC) debuts, with COMET (College of Medicine Educational Tools) providing educational content 24/7.


The Public Health Projects course starts, as students partner with community organizations to address public health needs in Vermont.

Grouping of photos of buildings, people

Grouping of photos of buildings, people and clinical simulation lab sign


Opening of the Medical Education Pavilion and the new Dana Medical Library (now called the Dana Health Sciences Library.)


The Student Education Committee is formed. Image at left: Members of the 2023 Student Education Committee.


The Courtyard at Given—“building within a building”—opens.


The Clinical Simulation Lab opens as a joint enterprise between the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the College of Medicine, and Fletcher Allen Health Care, under the direction of Cate Nicholas, Ed.D., M.S., PA.


Larner adopts a holistic admissions process that values the whole person by balancing academic accomplishments, personal character traits, and lived experiences.


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is established, with Margaret A. Tandoh, M.D., FACS, assistant professor of surgery, appointed as the innaugural associate dean.


The Global Health Program is established in partnership with Majid Sadigh, M.D., and the Western Connecticut Health Network, connecting UVM with international institutions in six countries as well as domestic sites within the U.S.


Fletcher Allen Health Care becomes UVM Medical Center.

Grouping of photos of people  and building

Grouping of photos of people


The Teaching Academy is founded, with a mission to cultivate a community of educators to lead educational innovation and scholarship by fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion and promoting its members’ pursuit of education excellence and scholarship. Kathryn Huggett, Ph.D., serves as its inaugural director.


Larner College of Medicine Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) 100% online program is launched—the first M.P.H. program in Vermont. Jan Carney, M.D., M.P.H., serves as its inaugural director.


The Social Justice Coalition is founded as an alliance of student interest groups seeking to engage the College around issues related to health equity, discrimination, and the promotion of cultural humility in medicine.


The College is renamed to honor the support of philanthropist and alumnus Robert Larner, M.D.’42, and his wife, Helen.


University Distinguished Professor Mark Nelson, Ph.D., is elected to the National Academy of Sciences.


The College launches its Professionalism initiative—an affirmation of its commitment to uphold “the highest standards of professionalism” demonstrated through integrity, accountability, compassion, altruism, and social responsibility, guided by cultural humility, kindness, and respect.


Formal launch of the Connecticut Branch Campus with Nuvance Health at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital.


Larner faculty, students, and staff pivot in myriad ways to pandemic restrictions and work together to protect our community.

Grouping of photos of people , buldings, Professionalism sign

Firestone building and class of medical school graduates


The Firestone Medical Research Building opens, with a naming gift from alumnus Steve Firestone, M.D.’69.


As the seventh oldest medical school in the United States, the College celebrates the 200th anniversary of its first class of medical graduates.

Larner bicentennial logo

University of Vermont Land Acknowledgment Statement

The campus of the University of Vermont sits within a place of gathering and exchange, shaped by water and stewarded by ongoing generations of Indigenous peoples, in particular the Western Abenaki.

Acknowledging the relations between water, land, and people is in harmony with the mission of the university. Acknowledging the serious and significant impacts of our histories on Indigenous peoples and their homelands is a part of the university’s ongoing work of teaching, research, and engagement and an essential reminder of our past and our interconnected futures for the many of us gathered on this land.

UVM respects the Indigenous knowledge interwoven in this place and commits to uplifting the Indigenous peoples and cultures present on this land and within our community.

UVM Larner College of Medicine Armed Forces Acknowledgement

We acknowledge with gratitude our Larner College of Medicine veterans, reservists, and active-duty personnel for their sacrifice in service to our nation.