History of the Medical College of Georgia


The Medical College of Georgia continued to grow during President Edgar Pund's term. The school built the Kelly Administration Building and Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital, and enlarged the Dugas and Murphey buildings. MCG also admitted the first class of 100 freshman medical students in fall 1953.

In 1954, the University System Board of Regents assumed control of Talmadge Hospital. The subsequential dispute involving operational policies ended in 1958. To increase full-time faculty, MCG encouraged part-time faculty to become full-time in 1955 with the incentive of free office space, secretarial and technical services. The school also increased faculty through actively recruiting young doctors throughout the United States. Talmadge Memorial Hospital received its first patient in June 1956, and clinical services started in July. The admission policy led to the hospital treating mostly indigent patients instead of paying ones. The Board of Regents approved the School of Nursing moving from Athens to Augusta in 1956. One year later, the university granted 11 bachelor of science degrees in nursing.

Aesculapain 1955
Aesculapian pages
Aesculapain 1955
Nursing Students 1950s

Dr. Edgar Rudolph Pund (1894-1975)
President, 1953-1958

Edgar Pund Dr. Edgar Pund, a native of Augusta, graduated from the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia School of Medicine. In 1923, he became an associate professor in pathology at MCG and in 1932, chair of the Department of Pathology. The Board of Regents elected Dr. Pund as the university's second president in 1953. He is remembered for helping MCG acquire a teaching hospital, Eugene Talmadge Memorial, which opened in 1956. Dr. Pund, along with several other physicians, also helped form the Medical College of Georgia Foundation. Dr. Pund made more than 50 contributions to research literature. He was the first to develop a satisfactory method for staining the Donovan bodies of granuloma inguinale in tissue and to demonstrate that the disease may become generalized. He also recognized the dissemination of lymphopathia venereum and showed that it may be a primary cause of death. Always interested in cancer, he was one of the early workers in exfoliative cytology and emphasized its value in diagnosing pre-invasive carcinoma of the cervix uteri. Dr. Pund was named President Emeritus in 1954.

G. Lombard Kelly Administration Building

Kelly Administration Building The Kelly Administration Building is named for MCGs last dean and first president, Dr. G. Lombard Kelly. Occupied in 1954, the building originally housed the administrative offices, anatomy department, library and dog laboratory, which moved from the Newton Building. The building has undergone several additions and renovations. The administrative offices currently are housed in the building.


Library In 1954, the library moved into the newly constructed Kelly Administration Building. Although room for books increased in the library's new location, seating space was at a premium. Therefore, it was commonplace to see library patrons studying on the steps leading to the library's upper level stacks. Administers of the Medical College of Georgia quickly realized the library needed a separate and bigger location, so they sought funds from the Board of Regents.

Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital

Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital The Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital, located at 1120 15th Street, was one of six buildings included in the State Hospital Project. In addition to the hospital, the project included two dormitories, house staff quarters, a treatment center for alcoholics, a warehouse and an educational facility. Gregson and Ellis from Atlanta were the architects, and the Fuller Company of Washington, D.C. was the general contractor. Construction cost approximately $11 million and equipment cost $4 million.

The cornerstone of Talmadge Hospital was laid in February 1954. Although construction was complete in fall 1955, the hospital opened in June 1956 due to installation of equipment and disputes over operational policies. Dr. Rufus Payne supervised construction and served as the first superintendent of the hospital. The Research Wing opened in 1961. The hospital was subsequently renamed the Medical College of Georgia Hospitals and Clinics, then MCG Medical Center. Management of the MCG clinical facilities transferred to MCG Health, Inc. in July 2000.