175 Years of Medicine at UB: Home
The University of Buffalo began in 1846 as a medical school. 2021 marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of UB, now known as the State University of New York at Buffalo. In celebration of this milestone, we prepared a guide highlighting some interesting facts and people associated with the medical school. We also compiled a list of resources for anyone interested in learning more about the school's history.
And now, a word about our founders...
“The most advantageous location of professional schools is now generally admitted to be at one of the greatest centers of population, wealth, and business. It was with a full appreciation of this idea, and with a wise foresight and faith in the future greatness of Buffalo, that in 1846 a number of young and energetic lawyers and doctors assembled in a small office on Main Street, there to found the University of Buffalo.”
Excerpt from "A University City" in the 1899 Iris yearbook.
Faculty of Medicine, 1861. Standing L-R: Dr. Hadley, Dr. Rochester, Dr. Mason. Seated L-R: Dr. White, Dr. Moore, Dr. Eastman, Dr. Lee. Three of the founders are in this image, Drs. Hadley, White, and Lee.
Image from the University Archives (Image ID UA_35A_1_1)
Requirements for Admission in 1922
Seventy-seventh session begins Monday, September 25, 1922. Laboratories fully equipped. Extensive hospital and clinical facilities for personal bedside study of cases.
Requirements for admission: Two years of work in an approved college of liberal arts and sciences, including twelve semester hours of chemistry, eight semester hours each of physics and biology, six semester hours of English, and a modern foreign language.
Ad printed in the 1922 Iris yearbook.
School of Medicine Laboratory circa 1959. Image from the University Archives (Image ID UA_85C_5_11)
Medical technology circa 1985. Image from the University Archives (Image ID UA_25V_60)
Pathology Museum at 24 High Street in 1936. Photographer: Edward G. Eschner, MD. Image from the History of Medicine Collection
Procedure circa 1975. Image from the University Archives (Image ID UA_25V_052)
|Year||Yell 1||Yell 2|
|1899||Racca-Lacca, Racca-Lacca, Racca-Lacca-Line!
Senior Medics, 99! 99! 99!
Zip! Boom!! Bang!!!
|1901||M. C. M. I.! Rick-a-ta-lix!
Rat-a-ta-thrat! Ca-boom! Ca-bix!
Buffalo Medics! Kick-a-bah-bah!
Naughty One! Naughty One! Wah! Woo! Wah!
U.B. Medics! 1902!
|1903||I thought I heard the U.B. say
That the Seniors gave their yell today
With a revo, with a rivo,
With a revo-rico-vum.
It’s just as plain as plain can be
That the Seniors lead in 1903.
With a rit tail, with a rat tail,
Riding on a cat tail – Boom!!
|Rip, zip, bah.
Rip, zip, bah.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
There may be,
But they’re not in it
With Nineteen Three
|1904||Live man, sick man, dead man, stiff-
Catch ‘im up, cut ‘im up, what’s the diff?
Humerus, tumerous, blood and gore,
U.B. Medics, 1904.
|1905||M-e! M-e-d! M-e-d-i-c! U.B.!
Five! Five! Nineteen-five!
U.B. Medics! Seniors!
|1906||Cut, slash, carve,
Stir, rub, mix.
U.B. Medics 1906.
|1907||Rip, dig, cut and trace,
Dope, soak the human race,
Doctor, minister, hell or heaven,
Buffalo Medics 19’-7.
|1908||Acids, ferments, knives and drugs,
Blood and muscles, bone and bugs,
Cut, rub, dope,
Fix ‘em up straight,
U.B. Medics, 1908
Rip stiffs up the back,
Munyons, bunions, worm food bait,
Medics, medics, 1908.
|1909||Arsenic, strychnine, dead man’s bones,
Rip ‘em up, cut ‘em up, hear their groans,
Skulls and crossbones is our whine.
U.B. Medics 19-9.
|1922||Acids, ferments, knives and drugs,
Blood and muscles, bone and bugs,
Cut, rub, slash,
Fix them two by two
U.B. Medics, 1922.
|1923||Tibia and fibula
Radius and ulna
In the early yearbooks, most classes had yells, and some even had flowers and mottos. The motto of the Class of 1907 was "Ad sidera per aspera," meaning "through hardships to the stars." In 1921, the motto was "Serve no master but the truth."
Cost of attendance
|1846||$65 per year|
|1871||$75 per year|
|1896||$130 per year|
|1921||$275 per year|
|1946||$500 per year|
|1971||$1,600 in state; $2,000 out of state per semester|
|1996||$8,450 in state; $17,100 out of state per semester|
|2020||$21,835 in state; $32,580 out of state per semester|
In 1846, students had tickets to attend classes. Board was $2-3 weekly. The circular that year explained that “No extra charge will be made for fuel, light, servant’s hire, or for the use of contingencies of the dissecting rooms.”
Black Physicians that Graduated from UB 1891-1985
Librarian Dorothy M. Haith, PhD, wrote a booklet listing the black physicians who graduated from UB from 1891-1985. By reviewing old yearbooks, she determined that there were 170 black graduates in that time period. Sixty-six were women.
Between 1891 and 1950, there were only five black graduates. Two of these graduates, Dr. W. Yerby Jones '24 and Dr. James C. Dunn '50, later served on the faculty. The first black woman to graduate from the medical school was Joan E. Clemmons in 1966.
Many of these graduates were New Yorkers, hailing from places like the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Buffalo. A number of students came from foreign countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica, and Trinidad.
1. Haith, D.M., Black physicians graduated from the University of Buffalo Medical School, 1891-1985 / by Dorothy M. Haith. 1985, United States: D.M. Haith.