Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine marks 100 years

November 8, 2012

Arthur Nead
Phone: 504-247-1443


Tulane University public health night class, circa 1942

Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is celebrating its 100th anniversary Nov. 9-11 as alumni, faculty, former faculty, students and professionals gather for discussions and seminars on the global impact of disasters, emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, the global burden of chronic diseases and changing healthcare systems. For a schedule of centennial events visit:

Founded in 1912 with a donation of $25,000 from New Orleans businessman Samuel Zemurray as the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the first such educational institution in the nation, the school answered the need for tropical medicine and hygiene studies in New Orleans, a city that had long suffered from devastating epidemics of malaria, cholera and yellow fever. The school was a pioneer in the movement to create similar teaching and research institutions around the world including the London School of Tropical Medicine, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (Brussels).

In 1919 the school was folded into the Tulane School of Medicine as a department of tropical medicine. As the fields of public health and tropical medicine expanded, a graduate division of public health was created within the School of Medicine in 1958, and in 1967 the Division of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine officially became the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Grace A. Goldsmith was named dean, the first female dean of a school of public health.

“Tulane was uniquely situated in 1912 to launch the first combined school of hygiene and tropical medicine,” says current Dean Pierre Buekens. “Today, the school operates on a very similar strategic plan as the school did in 1912: we are globally focused, we combine lab science with classroom experience, and we value a practical, hands-on approach to public health.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000