Today was unlike any other. Any other in my own personal experience. Any other in our medical school’s history.
Today we announced the latest example of the extraordinary generosity of Jim and Fran McGlothlin. This couple has been longtime friends of the medical school and, specifically, of Dr. Harry Young and his neurosurgery team.
Inspired as they were by his compassionate and skillful patient care, they wanted to make a contribution to the training of future generations of physicians. And with a gift of $25 million, they have made a powerful statement of support for our own medical school’s future.
In recognition of the McGlothlins’ generosity, the Board of Visitors will name the medical education building that is currently under construction at 12th and Marshall streets as the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center.
The building will be an important addition to Richmond’s architectural heritage. I.M. Pei’s internationally acclaimed architectural firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, has designed a landmark that, much like the Egyptian Building, will continue to draw visitors more than 160 years after its completion.
And just like that historic structure, our new facility will attract not only because of its design, but also because of the influence it will exert in the field of medicine. Its interior has been thoughtfully crafted to house the most significant renovation to the school’s curriculum seen in 30 years.
This new facility will allow us to help meet the projected physician shortage by accommodating an increase in class size from 200 to 250, increasing the total medical student body to 1,000. Just as importantly, the building will allow opportunities for small-group and even individualized learning. With a focus on team-based, clinically-driven problem solving, two floors will be devoted to the Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety, where high-tech advances create a low-risk setting for students to confront situations physicians face in clinical practice.
In addition, the top floors of the new building will house the Massey Cancer Center’s Research Pavilion, which will serve as a hub for clinical trials as well as cancer prevention and control.
In this building, we will pioneer new approaches to training physicians and to research. Even before the McGlothlins’ announcement, it had won the support of alumni and friends who had committed $8.2 million to the medical school’s campaign that encompasses the building as well as scholarships and professorships. With this announcement, we move into a more public phase of our campaign and expect to expand our cadre of supporters who will join the McGlothlins and other donors in making a statement of support for our vision of medical education’s future.
Jerome F. Strauss, III, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System