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This day in Marshall history

The Parthenon

Published: Friday, February 15, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 00:02

This day in Marshall University history, the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine was a figment of someone’s imagination. It was 40 years ago that the dream took shape.

In a Feb. 15, 1973 publication of The Parthenon, the financial backing for a new medical school on Marshall’s campus was made known.

The publication stated that a federally financed medical school for Marshall University was “an established fact.”

At the time, Marshall was one of eight medical schools around the country to be built with federal money.

West Virginia was then entering a new stage in finance and dimension, where each area benefitted from the other. There were many other programs to be implemented in the state in 1973.

According to The Parthenon, briefed legislatures discussed a number of revenue proposals to be completed in five years. Revenue sharing funneled over $200 million into the state for these five years, some of this going to the West Virginia Housing Development Fund. According to the publication, lack of proper housing was representative of a very significant problem in the state.

Nat DeBruin, university archivist, said The Parthenon is not only a student organization, but it is an important part of Marshall’s history.  
“It not only benefits the university in continuing to embrace its history, but it gives different perspectives of what students used to view in the past and how different it is now,” DeBruin said.

The publication stated that this would be the second medical school in the state, behind West Virginia University’s Medical School.

The Parthenon publication said, “To all those who, for any number of reasons look with disfavor on this, please have no fear. It shall be ours and unless someone or some group knocks the pieces of the puzzle apart, the state of West Virginia has its second medical school.”

According to a press release from 2010, Marshall’s medical school ranks in the top 20 in the United States for fulfilling medical schools’ fundamental mission of training physicians to care for the nation’s population.

There are almost 300 students currently enrolled in the School of Medicine.

“The Parthenon gives an opportunity to see how past issues and conflicts, both state wide and national, affected the students on campus,” DeBruin said.

The special collections in James E. Morrow Library offer The Parthenon publications dating back to its first issue in 1898.

Haylee Roberts can be contacted at

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