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A Look Back in Time: TUSM Opens Cornerstone Box from Old Medical School Built in 1930

News October 24, 2014

More than a dozen eager onlookers – including news reporters and photographers – watched and waited as Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, Dean of Temple University School of Medicine and President & CEO of Temple University Health System, carefully opened the two-foot long oxidized copper box.

The box had just been lifted from behind the large Date Stone next to the front doors of the soon-to-be-demolished Old Medical School Building – its resting place since October 18, 1930, when the building was officially dedicated.

No one was disappointed by what Dr. Kaiser found.

The contents of the box, most of which had sustained some level of water damage, proved to be a wealth of historical memorabilia from that long-ago time – including medical-school publications, periodicals and photographs, as well as established medical journals and local newspapers.

One by one, Dr. Kaiser carefully lifted the 84-year-old items out of the stained rectangular box, pausing now and again – with the hands of a surgeon – to delicately turn pages and read select passages from the historical texts. He led the laughter as he pulled out copies and read the headlines from old newspapers – including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the now-defunct Evening Bulletin, among others. He shared with everyone the frayed copy of a black-and-white photo that was simply titled “First Major Faculty.”

“It’s very exciting to see what went on in this building through the medical-school periodicals that existed at the time,” he said, adding that all the materials would be saved and put in the historical archives of the School of Medicine and University.