Health Services: 100 Years of Health Services at Haverford’s Morris Infirmary
Designed to supersede what were then described as “antiquated facilities” in the upper level of Founders Hall, the Morris Infirmary is celebrating a century of treating Haverford’s sick and injured.
The building was made possible through a challenge grant by John Morris (class of 1867) who sought to memorialize his younger brothers, Haverford alumni James (1863) and Isaac (1865), who had died at ages 32 and 28 respectively. He pledged $25,000 toward construction provided that the College raised an additional $15,000 for general endowment. Students joined the fundraising effort and eventually contributed $10,000 toward the goal.
Alumnus William Lloyd Bailey (1883), from the Philadelphia firm of Bailey and Bassett, designed the 1 ½ story Colonial revival building which has a gabled roof, dormers with arched windows at the rear, Egyptian style limestone columns in the front and rear, two balconies with decorative wrought ironwork and a skylight above what was described as “the operating room.”
In celebrating its completion in September 1912, the College described its newest building as a “gem…(that) leaves nothing to be desired.” With 10 beds, a surgical room, an isolation ward for contagious diseases, its own kitchen and accommodations for a resident nurse, “every provision has been made for the medical and surgical treatment of all cases among students during the college year. The danger of infection through illness in the college dormitories is thus minimized.”
Today, Morris Health Services is a fully accredited ambulatory college health facility with approximately 5,000 student visits annually. A primary care staff of nurses, nurse practitioners, a family medicine doctor, sports medicine doctor, nutritionist, massage therapist and substance abuse educator provide health care along with information students need in order to make healthy lifestyle choices. Services include general and public health, immunizations, travel health, women’s and men’s sexual health, sports injuries and substance abuse.
The original oil portraits of James and Isaac Morris — along with the marble dedication plaques — remain on display in the Health Services reception area.