50th anniversary of founding of MCO to be celebrated May 31 | UToledo News

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50th anniversary of founding of MCO to be celebrated May 31

The nation’s 100th medical school was officially created Dec. 18, 1964, when Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes signed legislation establishing the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo.

Helping to break ground for the Health Sciences Building Sept. 11, 1970, were, from left, Paul Block, Gov. James Rhodes, Dr. Glidden Brooks, Dr. Robert Page, and student Lurley Archambeau.

Helping to break ground for the Health Sciences Building Sept. 11, 1970, were, from left, Paul Block, Gov. James Rhodes, Dr. Glidden Brooks, Dr. Robert Page, and student Lurley Archambeau.

The University of Toledo is commemorating that historic milestone with an invitation-only 50th anniversary celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 31, in the Radisson Hotel located on Health Science Campus.

“The golden anniversary provides an opportunity for us to remember an important time in the history of Toledo and to recognize those who worked to bring a medical school to our community,” said Dr. William McMillen, former provost and chair of the anniversary celebration committee. “It is a celebration of a medical school that has successfully evolved to stay ahead of the curve in health science teaching and research, as well as the delivery of exceptional health care.”

Between 1910 and 1950, only 10 new medical schools were created in the country, and the post-WWII baby boom produced a growing population in need of medical care leading to a critical shortage of medical personnel.

Paul Block Jr., co-publisher of The Blade and a chemist, was an advocate for northwest Ohio as the ideal location for the new medical school that was needed in the state.

“It is impossible to count the number of people whose lives have been improved because of the medical college in this community that was a direct result of Paul Block’s efforts,” UT President Lloyd Jacobs said. “During the last 50 years, this medical school has trained generations of leaders within the medical community and is a source of pride for Toledo and Ohio.”

Allan J. Block, chair of Block Communications, and John Robinson Block, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, served as honorary co-chairs of the anniversary celebration committee and will speak at the event.

The Medical College of Ohio’s hospital, shown here during construction, opened in 1979.

The Medical College of Ohio’s hospital, shown here during construction, opened in 1979.

Dr. Mary R. Smith, UT professor of medicine and pathology, will give the keynote address about the value of the then Medical College of Ohio and current UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences to the city and region.

In addition to the founding of the school, the event will celebrate the first class of medical school students, the teaching hospital that opened in 1979, and the leadership of Dr. Richard “Dick” Ruppert, who served as president from 1977 to 1993.

To conclude the celebration, WGTE Public Media will preview its “Toledo Stories — MCO: A History of Healing and Teaching” documentary that will air at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5, on WGTE.

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