The Connecticut General Assembly in 1961 approved legislation authorizing $2 million to plan and develop a medical-dental school in Hartford County. A year later, a selection committee, after examining 40 different sites, settled on 106 acres of orchard and farmland in Farmington, seven miles west of Hartford.
In 1963, the first deans were appointed: Dr. Lyman Maynard Stowe was named medical dean; Dr. Lewis Fox, dental dean. Dr. Stowe died unexpectedly in 1965 and Dr. John Patterson was named medical dean and executive director of the UConn Health Center. Ground was broken the following year.
In 1968, the first students began classes in temporary buildings on campus. Construction continued through 1972 on what was at the time one of Connecticut’s largest buildings at more than 1.2 million square feet.
Phased occupancy began in 1972, the year the first class of 29 physicians and 12 dentists graduated.
In 1975, the John Dempsey Hospital, the UConn Health Center’s hospital named after the governor who signed the initial legislation, admitted its first patient. In 1978, the UConn Health Center was officially dedicated by the late Governor Ella Grasso. The dedication marked the end of the birthing phase of the institution and the start of its continued growth.
Lyman Maynard Stowe
1963 to 1965
John W. Patterson1965 to 1971
Robert U. Massey
1971 to 1984
Eugene M. Sigman
1985 to 1992
Ward E. Bullock1994 to 1995
Peter J. Deckers, M.D.1995 to 2008
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.2008 to 2011
Bruce T. Liang, M.D., FACC
2011 to 2012 (interim) December 2014 to June 2015 (interim) June 2015 to present (Dean)
Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H.2012 to 2014