In 1881, the College of Dentistry was established in a symbolic relationship with the Medical Department, sharing its physical plant as well as four of its faculty members. For a decade the two schools occupied common quarters; however, in 1891 the dental faculty sought larger quarters and separated its teaching activities from the Medical School.
In the 1890's, the Medical Department and Colleges of Pharmacy and Dentistry were housed in privately owned buildings in downtown San Francisco. But just before the turn of the century, Dr. Cole obtained sufficient support from the legislature to construct on the present site of the Medical Center, three large Romanesque buildings to house these "affiliated" colleges. The land for this undertaking was a gift of Adolph Sutro, mayor of San Francisco.
During the San Francisco earthquake and fire most of the city's hospitals were destroyed, giving rise to a serious shortage of medical facilities. The Affiliated Colleges, which survived the calamity, rose to the occasion. The College of Medicine transferred the first two years of instruction to the Berkeley campus, making room for the first University Hospital and a training school for nurses. This endeavor was the forerunner of the present School of Nursing which was established by the Regents on March 17, 1939. Ten years later, its faculty was given full academic status in the University.
The next addition to the clinical facilities was the Clinics Building which was constructed under a work program of the state and opened in 1934. The Herbert C. Moffitt Hospital opened in 1955 and the Medical Sciences Building was completed in 1958.
Two other movements resulted in additional facilities for the Medical Center. The first was begun in 1921 by the Associated Dental Students under the leadership of its president, Willard C. Fleming, who became dean of the School of Dentistry in 1939 and continued to serve in that capacity until 1965. Encouraged by Dean Guy S. Millberry, the students built a shack for use as a cafeteria. This venture proved successful and the dental students went on to establish the Dental Supply Store in 1925. These two projects eventually came under the management of Dr. George Steninger, a graduate of the class of 1925, who set up what amounted to a one-man drive to receive gifts from the alumni of all four schools and raised funds which, when matched by the Regents and added to the profits from the cafeteria and store were sufficient to begin construction of the Guy S. Millberry Union, which opened in 1958.
The second movement aimed at expanding facilities was begun by Dean Langley Porter of the School of Medicine, who prevailed upon the California Department of Mental Hygiene to affiliate with the University and construct a neuropsychiatric clinic near the Medical Center; the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute was opened in 1943.
The bonds between the clinical and basic sciences were cemented by the establishment of the Graduate Division in 1961. Also on campus were nine organized research units which dealt with specialized aspects of the health sciences that were interdisciplinary in nature. In addition, research was conducted by staff members of every school and department and in several special units and laboratories.
In this way the strength of the existing San Francisco Medical Center in the health sciences and the resources of the city, construed as a laboratory for social and artistic study, could be brought to bear upon a better understanding of the pressing problems of modern man in his urban environment. The University and the city could interpenetrate each other to their mutual benefit. The San Francisco campus might thus attempt to effect a valid integration of modern physics with the biological and social sciences.
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Last updated 06/18/04.