About the School
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 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 Health Center’s hospital named after the governor who signed the initial legislation, admitted its first patient. In 1978, the
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.