Adapted from Dean Thomas J. Lawley's  State of the School Address, September 28, 2004

the 150th anniversary of Emory School of Medicine 


Today, on exactly the same spot, our new Emory Center for Clinical Training and Faculty Building at Grady Memorial Hospital cost precisely 1,000 times as much—$15 million—and is occupied by nearly 100 faculty members. In 1854, tuition was $105, with a $5 matriculation fee and a $10 fee for a dissecting ticket. This fee went directly to the anatomy demonstrator, since he had to procure the dissecting material at his own expense. The first dean was Dr. John Westmoreland, who faced severe financial problems. More than that, the Atlanta Medical College soon faced a Civil War. Classes were suspended in 1861, and in 1864 the building was to be burned like the rest of Atlanta by General Sherman. But it was saved by a trick conceived by a faculty member named Dr. Noel D’Alvigny. The building was being used as a hospital, and after the real patients were evacuated on the eve of the planned burning of the building, Dr. D’Alvigny plied the hospital attendants with whiskey to pose as patients in the hospital. He then complained to the Union officer in charge that wounded men were going to be burned without being given a chance to escape. After viewing the bogus patients, who were moaning and begging for help, the officer gave Dr. D’Alvigny until dawn to have the men removed. By the time dawn rolled around, the Union Army had begun its March to the Sea, and the Atlanta Medical College building was saved.