The Medical Department of the University of Georgia experienced several historical events during Dean William Goodrich's term. In 1926, Loree Florence became the first woman to graduate with an M.D. degree in the history of the school and state. In May 1927, fire destroyed the south wing and caused smoke damage to the north wing of the Newton Building. It resulted in $16,000 worth of damage, and the insurance money led to the school constructing a new animal surgery quarters. The school celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1928 and Dean Goodrich wrote the history of the school to commemorate the event.
Dean Goodrich constantly worked on acquiring funds for the Medical Department during his deanship. The Rockefeller and Carnegie grants expired in 1926, which meant the school needed money from another source, so Goodrich appealed to the Georgia Legislature. The school needed to add more buildings, buy new equipment, and hire more full-time faculty. The Legislature provided some funds for minor improvements, but not enough for the construction of new buildings. The financial situation of the school deteriorated when the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Depression started.
Dr. William Henry Goodrich (1873-1947)
A native of Augusta, Dr. William Goodrich received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1893 and graduated from the Medical Department with honors in 1897. For a number of years, he practiced in Augusta. In 1925 he became professor of gynecology at MCG. After the sudden death of Dean Doughty, Dr. Goodrich was elected dean and served until 1931. In 1928, Dr. Goodrich authored the first history of the college to honor its centennial. In The History of the Medical Department of the University of Georgia, Dr. Goodrich included a brief history of MCG and brief biographies with selected addresses and publications of 10 early faculty members.
In 1939, he was appointed superintendent of University Hospital, a post he held until 1945. At the time of his death, he was chief surgeon for the Georgia & Florida Railroad and local surgeon for the Central of Georgia Railroad. Dr. Goodrich died in a boating accident in 1947 at Port Royal Sound, near Beaufort, S.C.