The Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research
The Simpson Memorial Institute stands as the result of a $400,000 bequest to the University by Mrs. Catherine Simpson, of Detroit, in memory of her husband (R.P., 1923-26, p. 478). The building is on Observatory Street opposite the University Observatory and south of the University Hospital. According to the terms of Mrs. Simpson's bequest $150,000 was to be used for the construction and equipment of the building, and the remaining sum of $250,000 was to be invested in securities; it was intended that the income from these would pay the salaries of members of the staff, and it was agreed that expenses for heat, light, repairs, and administration of the new building would be borne by the University so that the income from the bequest could be used solely for research purposes. The primary subject for research, as stipulated by the donor, was the study of pernicious anemia and its treatment. Other disorders affecting the blood are also being investigated.
Construction began on June 3, 1925, with Albert Kahn as architect and Henry L. Vanderhorst as contractor. Dedication exercises were held on February 10, 1927. The cost of building and equipment eventually amounted to $202,867.85. The building is approximately 75 by 45 feet and affords 17,830 square feet of floor space.
The Institute, a beautiful four-story granite building, on a site overlooking the reaches of the Huron River Valley, is a few hundred feet from the entrance to the University Hospital. Broad steps lead up to the front entrance, through which one enters a handsomely furnished walnut-paneled lobby. Also on the first floor are offices for the Director and secretaries, a library, and a conference room. Many of the furnishings of the first floor were given to the University by Mrs. Simpson. A gift of books for the library was made in 1926 by Dr. Lemuel W. Famulener, of St. Luke's Hospital, New York City.
The second floor is devoted to the laboratories and offices of the junior staff members. On the third floor are accommodations for ten patients, nursing office, diet kitchen, and treatment and utility rooms. A lecture room, photographic room, and quarters for animals are on the two basement floors.
Since its establishment the Institute has been closely affiliated with the Medical School and with the University Hospital. In addition to research, the activities of the staff include consultations concerning patients referred by their attending physicians or by members of the hospital staff, and instruction of medical and postgraduate students.
In accepting the Institute at the dedication exercises, President Little referred to it as "a living memorial where through the years to come men and women will be enabled to search for ways in which human suffering may be decreased in order that happiness and freedom from pain which is so characteristic of Youth may be made more sure." He added: "No gift that the University will ever receive can have about it more delicate and beautiful sentiment than the untiring and personal attention that the donor has bestowed upon the Simpson Memorial Institute." During the twenty-seven years the Institute has been in existence, active research has been carried on in various fields of hematology. Almost 2,500 patients have been admitted Page 1660and cared for, and the yearly visits to the outpatient service total more than 2,000.