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 28,000+ 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.

The Beginning

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 22K 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.

Medical School

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 10 years, including over 930+ in 2024 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 30+ 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