History of the Medical College of Georgia


During President William Henry Moretz's tenure, the Medical College of Georgia expanded areas including student growth, faculty size, research developments and building space. In 1972, Dr. Titus H.J. Huisman established MCG's Sickle Cell Center. The centers emphasis was on education, testing and counseling, clinical services, research and social services. On December 10, 1973, ground was broken for the Virgil P. Sydenstricker Wing of Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital. During that same year, the Nancy Cobb House was opened to house sickle cell patients making overnight visits to MCG clinics. The house was named in honor of Nancy Cobb Young, a member of one of the first sickle cell families studied by the late Dr. Sydenstricker. The Georgia Comprehensive Epilepsy Program headed by MCG's Dr. Joseph B. Green started in 1975; the program sought to train socio-medical professionals across Georgia to understand and help epileptics. On October 13, 1976, the hospital dedicated the new Virgil P. Sydenstricker Wing.

In 1980, the university established the MCG Research Institute, a non-profit corporation, which encouraged basic and clinical research at the institution. During President Moretz's inaugural address, he indicated MCG's need to substantially enlarge the library. In late 1980, the addition was completed, and by early 1981, the library moved into it. The same year, Student Health Services opened under the leadership of Dr. William Henderson. During 1981-1982, the university added both a baccalaureate and certificate program in diagnostic sonography. Talmadge Memorial Hospital celebrated its 25th anniversary in fall 1981. A year later, Talmadge Hospital received the first triple organ donation in Georgia. During Dr. Moretz's presidency, the number of MCG graduates almost doubled and the university spent more than $25 million in construction and renovation.

Sickle Cell Center
Sickle Cell Center
Aesculapian 1975
Aesculapian 1975

Dr. William Henry Moretz (1914-1989)
President, 1972-1983

William MoretzDr. William Moretz attended the North Carolina School of Medicine, a two year program, and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1939. While serving three years in the U.S. Army, he held an instructor position at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. Then he joined the University of Utah College of Medicine as associate professor of surgery in 1947. He joined MCG in 1955 as professor and chair of the Department of Surgery.

The Board of Regents appointed Dr. Moretz as MCG's fourth president in 1972, and he began expanding MCG's student body and physical plant. During his tenure, the number of MCG graduates almost doubled, and more than $25 million in renovations and new construction was completed. The Moretz Surgical Society, established in 1972, was named in his honor to promote the exchange of scientific research and observation by surgeons affiliated with MCG who worked under Dr. Moretz when he chaired the department. He stepped down from the presidency in 1982, and the Board of Regents named him President and Professor Emeritus of Surgery in 1984.

Sydenstricker Wing of Talmadge Hospital

Sydenstricker Wing of Talmadge Hospital The Sydenstricker Wing opened in 1976, named in honor of Dr. Virgil P. Sydenstricker, a world-renowned physician and longtime chair of the Department of Medicine. Talmadge Hospital expanded again in November 1986, with the addition of a parking deck.

Jennings Building

Jennings Building The city of Augusta dedicated the "new" University Hospital in December 1970. MCG bought the "old" University Hospital in 1973 for its preservation and future use by its Schools of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing. However, it was not financially feasible to remove the asbestos, so the original structure was demolished in the early 1990s. MCG saved two wings of the old hospital: the Milton Antony Wing and Jennings Wing. The Milton Antony Wing was remodeled and renamed the Walter L. Shepeard Building, for a former pathology professor and chairman of the Department of Medical Technology, to house MCG's Departments of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Medical Technology.

In 1977, the Board of Regents approved $1 million to remodel the Jennings Wing into a permanent facility for Departments of Medical Technology and Occupational Therapy. The Jennings Wing was renovated but for a much different purpose. MCG later renovated the Jennings Wing to become a freestanding building that houses a portion of the School of Nursing. The Jennings and Shepherd buildings are the only buildings that were part of the old University Hospital complex.


Library (1977-1983) The library received a facelift and a new addition in 1980, which increased its size to over 60,000 square feet. The library established a computer micro-lab in 1983 that supported computer-aided instruction, online searching, databases, and computer literacy. The library's name changed to the Robert B. Greenblatt, MD Library in 1987.