History Timeline

EVMS History

For 40 years, EVMS has been the place for aspiring physicians and health professionals, passionate educators and medical pioneers.

In the 1960s, civic leaders in Hampton Roads sought to improve care in the region and created a bold dream to build a medical school. Thanks to determination and community commitment, EVMS opened its doors in 1973, forever transforming the landscape of health care in Hampton Roads.

Today, EVMS holds an honored position in American history as one of the only schools of medicine and health professions in the nation to be founded by a grassroots effort. The institution's steady growth from just 23 medical students to an organization with a more than $800 million annual economic impact is an inspiring testament to what vision, community commitment and innovation can accomplish.

Highlights from EVMS History:

March 1964: The Virginia legislature creates the Norfolk Area Medical Center Authority and empowers the authority to create a medical school. Prominent obstetrician and gynecologist Mason C. Andrews, a key proponent of the new school, is appointed Chairman.

December 1969: Supporters led by businessman and philanthropist Henry Clay Hofheimer II establish the Eastern Virginia Medical School Foundation.

January 1970: The initial fund-raising campaign begins. Hampton Roads is the largest metropolitan area in the nation without a medical school.

January 1972: The medical school receives provisional accreditation.

September 1973: The inaugural MD class matriculates.

January 1974: The school opens a family practice residency training program to help alleviate a local physician shortage.

May 1974: The medical school’s first graduates complete training in what is now known as the Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling Program.

September 1976: EVMS graduates 23 physicians in its charter MD class.

February 1978: EVMS celebrates the completion of its first building and names it Lewis Hall in honor of philanthropists Sydney and Frances Lewis.

December 1981: Elizabeth Carr, the nation’s first child conceived through in vitro fertilization, is born at Norfolk General Hospital under the watchful gaze of IVF pioneers Drs. Howard and Georgeanna Jones. Dr. Mason Andrews performs the delivery.

September 1985: The Elise and Henry Clay Hofheimer II Hall of the Clinical Sciences (informally referred to as Hofheimer Hall) is dedicated.

September 1986: The United States Agency for International Development awards a $28 million grant to CONRAD, a program of the EVMS Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Fall 1987: EVMS students launch Operation Overcoat, later renamed Coats for Kids, to pass along donated coats to needy children and families. It’s one of dozens of outreach efforts, conceived of and led by students, that provide assistance to others.

October 1987: What is now known as the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center opens.

November 1990: EVMS otolaryngologists perform the region’s first pediatric cochlear implant, allowing a 5-year-old Virginia Beach boy to hear for the first time.

December 1995: A gift from Virginia Beach resident Virginia Glennan Ferguson leads to the establishment of the Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology.

March 2000: The Edward E. Brickell Medical Science Library opens as a state-of-the-art facility serving EVMS and the region.

February 2005: EVMS dedicates the George L. Wright Jr. Center for Biomedical Proteomics as part of the continuing effort to identify cancers in their earliest and most treatable stage.

Fall 2005: EVMS obtains a $25 million gift from Sentara Healthcare and commitment for additional annual support from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

May 2008: In an historic agreement, the state provides $59 million in support for a new research and education building and clarifies the medical school’s standing as a state-assisted, independent, community-based medical school.

August 2008: EVMS establishes the School of Health Professions as a measure of the importance of the school’s diverse range of academic programs.

September 2008: CONRAD receives a $100 million grant, the largest in the school’s history, from the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop contraceptives and products to fight AIDS.

May 2009: EVMS celebrates its largest graduating class yet, 246, in its first commencement ceremony held at the Norfolk Scope.

July 2009: EVMS dedicates Andrews Hall, formerly known as Fairfax Hall, in memory of EVMS founders and key faculty members Dr. Mason C. Andrews and his brother, Dr. William C. Andrews.

September 2011: EVMS completes an $80 million construction and renovation project with the opening of its new Education and Research Building, which enables increased enrollment throughout the school's education programs and expansion of key programs, such as cancer research and simulation.