History of St. George’s University
A handful of dreamers set out to change the status quo in medical education in the 1970s and founded an international University that has educated 24,000+ people worldwide and impacted the world by the many thousands more who have benefitted from their knowledge and care. Their vision of what international education should be attracted progressive education leaders with prestigious credential to shape the future of the young school. The result of their shared dream was St. George’s University.
It began on July 23, 1976, when Charles Modica, Louis Modica, Edward McGowan, and Patrick F. Adams witnessed the birth of their dream through an act of Grenada’s Parliament, establishing St. George’s University School of Medicine. It opened its doors in January 1977, welcoming a modest group of students to Grand Anse as part of its charter class. They were the first of many, with the University contributing over 19,000 physicians to the global physician workforce, having drawn medical school students, alumni, and faculty from over 150 countries to the island of Grenada. They have practiced in every state in the United States, as well as in more than 50 countries.
What was an opportunity for the charter class has developed into the opportunity for many. The Doctor of Medicine program at St. George’s University School of Medicine is accredited and approved by many external bodies. SGU students now have access to clinical training opportunities at over 70 affiliated hospitals and clinical centers in the United States, Canada, Grenada, and United Kingdom. Annually, it secures highly competitive US-based residencies, serving as the number one provider of doctors into first-year positions in the US over the last 12 years combined, including over 1,090+ in 2021 alone.
Growth in Research and International Presence
St. George’s University expanded its medical program even further in 2005, this time overseas, establishing the St. George’s University School of Medicine/Northumbria University program, which allows School of Medicine students to spend their first year of basic sciences at Northumbria University in Newcastle, United Kingdom. With it, these students obtain unprecedented international experience in medicine, gaining exposure to models of medicine in three different countries by the time they graduate.
Besides basic science training, students have been able to carry out short- and long-term, multidisciplinary research and education programs with the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), which the University established in True Blue in 1994.
Medicine and Beyond
Beyond medicine, SGU has created a wide range of programs for students of all interests. In 1996, the newly founded School of Arts and Sciences welcomed its first student class, and in 1999, the University established the School of Veterinary Medicine, which is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and owns clinical affiliations with 32 veterinary medical schools. More than 2,100 SGU veterinarians have entered the workforce since then. Also in 1999, the Master of Public Health program launched. It has since gained accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has been distinguished as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center (WHO CC) for Environmental and Occupational Health, the first of its kind in the Caribbean. SGU has also created a School of Graduate Studies, which offers more than 30 distinct programs across a wide variety of professional fields.
In 2014, St. George’s University received an equity investment from a group led by Canadian investor Altas Partners and a fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia, to assist the University with its efforts in forging ahead with a new chapter of its development. In 2015, Dr. G. Richard Olds was appointed as President to help lead this change.
1976 Grenadian Parliament Signs St. George’s University Charter – 1976
1977 School of Medicine First Class Arrives
1979 US Medical Clinical Affiliations Established
1980 UK Medical Clinical Affiliations Established
1981 School of Medicine Charter Class Graduation
1981 SGU Receives Approval by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners
1983 US Military Intervention in Grenada
1984 US President Ronald Reagan Visits Campus Memorial
1984 SGU Receives Approval by the Medicine Board of California
1987 SGU Receives Approval by the New York State Education Department
1991 $250 Million USD Campus Expansion
1992 First White Coat Ceremony Featuring Ben Carson as Speaker
1993 Major Campus Building Program Completed
1994 WINDREF Research Institute Founded
1994 School of Graduate Studied Founded
1994 MD/MSc Program First Offered
1996 School of Arts and Sciences Founded
There was an immediate and overwhelming response from the Grenadian people, as well as people in the Caribbean region, who were anxious to take advantage of this opportunity for tertiary education. The School began offering night courses in the Fall of 1996, and baccalaureate degree programs in January 1997.
1996 Dr. Swaminathan Visited Campus – Time Magazine Top 3 Indian Docs of Century
“We badly need on our planet education centers like St. George’s University which can help to highlight the value of diversity and pluralism in human societies.”
1996 Anthony S. Fauci, MD, is the Geoffrey H. Bourne speaker
1999 School of Veterinary Medicine Founded
1999 Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Established
2000 Department of Educational Services Begins Offering Let’s Talk Teaching Seminars
2003 Number of Grads Surpasses 5,000
2005 Master of Public Health Offered Through School of Veterinary Medicine
2006 St. George’s Partners with Northumbria
2007 Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program Launched in Northumbria
2010 Master of Public Health Degree Accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
2010 MBA Program Established
2010 SGU Grads Tops US/Canadian Student Scores on USMLE
2011 DVM Program Accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE)
2011 Graduates Surpass 10,000
2011 Partnership Established with Grenada Hospital
2014 St. George’s Receives Equity Investment from a Group Led by Altas Partners
2015 Dr. G. Richard Olds Appointed as First University President and Chief Executive Officer
2016 St. George’s University Small Animal Clinic Receives American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Accreditation