Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is a five-college University that was built around the Chicago Medical School (CMS), which has been educating physicians and furthering biomedical research for almost 100 years. Established in 1912, the Chicago Medical School’s physician and citizen founders aimed to build a combined medical school and hospital in which employed men and women could study medicine at night, a common practice at the time. Many of Chicago’s finest medical teachers and practitioners who had been associated with Jenner Medical School transferred to CMS when Jenner closed in 1917.
The School’s most noteworthy period of development took place under the direction of John J. Sheinin, MD, PhD, who served as dean and president from 1932 to 1966. The school successfully met the challenges arising from the revolutionary restructuring of American medical education following the Flexner Report. In 1930, the school moved to what was to become one of the world’s largest aggregations of medical facilities. Located just west of downtown Chicago, this complex contained three medical schools, seven hospitals, colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and two undergraduate universities. CMS occupied an eleven-story facility in a renowned research and educational center.
In 1967, the University of Health Sciences (UHS) was established. The University comprised the Chicago Medical School, the School of Related Health Sciences (now College of Health Professions), and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPDS). In 1980, the University relocated to its current campus in North Chicago, IL, adjacent to the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Center (formerly known as the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center) and Naval Station Great Lakes.
The new campus included the University’s Basic Sciences Building, a 400,000-square-foot facility that houses a 52,000-square-foot Library and The Daniel Solomon, MD, and Mary Ann Solomon Learning Resource Center, as well as administrative offices, classrooms, auditoriums, basic science departments, research and teaching laboratories, and dining areas. The Heather Margaret Bligh Cancer Research Laboratory, a cancer immunology research and treatment complex, is located on the north end of the campus.
The University, granted full accreditation by the North Central Association in 1980, represented one of the first educational institutions in the country devoted exclusively to educating men and women for a broad range of professional careers in health care and research. In 2001, The Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine (established in 1912) became part of the University structure.
In January 2004, the University publicly announced its intent to change its name to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, in honor of Rosalind Franklin, PhD, a pioneer in the field of DNA research. The name change became legal on March 1, 2004, at which time the School of Related Health Sciences also changed its name to College of Health Professions.
In addition to the name change and the announcement of several new strategic initiatives, the University was experiencing profound growth. In October 2002, the University opened its Health Sciences Building, a 140,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that houses laboratories, auditoriums, classrooms, departmental offices, a student union, the Feet First Exhibition, University bookstore, recreational game room, exercise facility, and a café. The University became a residential campus for the first time in its history when three student housing facilities, totaling 180 apartments, opened in July 2003.
From 2004 to 2009, the University has significantly and steadily expanded its student base and set record enrollment growth, from 1,664 students to 1,940—a 16 percent increase in the student population. By strengthening its research practice and attracting pre-eminent scientists, the institution now provides greater access to leading-edge research opportunities. This growth will continue to be fueled by the increased interest in the College of Health Professions, new programs such as Nurse Anesthesia and Medical Radiation Physics, and the new College of Pharmacy.
In 2011, the University dedicated the 23,000-square-foot Interprofessional Education Center, offering additional classrooms, laboratories, clinical simulation spaces, and an amphitheatre. It is also the home of the College of Pharmacy which welcomed its first class in fall 2011.
Dr. Rosalind Franklin, through her pioneering work in the science of life and her unflagging perseverance, serves as a role model for our faculty and students, and represents the future of biomedical science and integrated health care. After almost 100 years of excellence in healthcare education, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science has only just begun to write its history. We hope you will join us in creating bold visions for an ambitious future.