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.

Archival image of the Butler Buildings

The Temporary structures at the base of the Farmington site to serve as classrooms referred to as the Butler buildings. (UConn Health Center Archive)


Class of 72

Phased occupancy began in 1972, the year the first class of 29 physicians and 12 dentists graduated.

Class of 1972 (UConn Health Center Archive)


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.

Past Deans

UConn Health Logo

Lyman Maynard Stowe

1963 to 1965

Past Dean John W. Patterson

John W. Patterson

1965 to 1971

UConn Health Logo

Robert U. Massey

1971 to 1984

UConn Health Logo

Eugene M. Sigman

1985 to 1992

Past Dean Ward Bullock

Ward E. Bullock

1994 to 1995

Past Dean Peter Deckers

Peter J. Deckers, M.D.

1995 to 2008

Past Dean Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

2008 to 2011

Past Dean Bruce T. Liang, MD, FACC

Bruce T. Liang, M.D., FACC

2011 to 2012 (interim)
December 2014 to June 2015 (interim)
June 2015 to present (Dean)

Past Dean Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H.

Frank M. Torti, M.D., M.P.H.

2012 to 2014