December 20, 2005 Loma Linda, California, United States …. [Dustin Jones/LLU/ANN Staff]

In 1905, Albert Einstein published the Special Theory of Relativity, the first jukebox was invented, and, on a small hill in Southern California called Loma Linda, a dream began.

The Seventh-day Adventist-owned Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC), celebrate the fulfillment of that dream with its 100th anniversary this year.

Officials at the institution say the unwavering dedication of those who promoted healthful living and provided care for the sick has shaped and sustained one of the leading health sciences educational institutions and hospitals in the nation. From humble beginnings, Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center have grown to be leaders in patient care and pioneers of life-saving medicine.

“Our history,” says B. Lyn Behrens, president and chief executive officer of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center,” is rooted in God’s providence and divine guidance in leading this institution. Christ’s love compels us to care for others wherever there is a need, whether that be in nearby San Bernardino, Mexico, or even war-torn Afghanistan.”

The property where Loma Linda now stands was developed as the plush Mound City Hotel during the 1887 to 1888 boom days. Following the 1893 depression, the hotel complex failed. A group of investors bought the failed property, investing $155,000 in hopes of making it one of the finest health resorts in Southern California. This effort also failed.

Still, when Ellen G. White, a pioneering founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, first visited Loma Linda, she was captivated, describing it as “the most desirable place I have ever seen for a sanitarium.”

The property came to the attention of John Burden, one of the founders of Loma Linda. The asking price of U.S.$110,000 was prohibitive for the fledgling Adventist church. However, the price continued to drop, until the owners ordered the property sold for $40,000. With private funds, John Burden and others obtained an option on the property and paid off the note — then discounted to $38,900 — before the end of the year.

On Aug. 24, 1905, Loma Linda Sanitarium was incorporated; six weeks later, on Oct. 13, the first two patients were admitted. The present, 11-story Loma Linda University Medical Center opened on July 9, 1967, an outgrowth of the original sanitarium on the hill. With the completion of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in late 1993, nearly 900 beds are now available for patient care, including beds at Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus and Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center.

Loma Linda University Health Care, a management service organization, supports the many programs and services provided by 400-plus faculty physicians. LLUMC operates some of the largest clinical programs in the United States in areas such as neonatal care and outpatient surgery and is recognized as the international leader in infant heart transplantation and proton treatments for cancer. Each year, the institution admits more than 33,000 inpatients and serves roughly half a million outpatients.

In December 1905, Loma Linda accepted its first nursing students, and on July 10, 1907, the first Loma Linda nursing commencement was held. Today, more than 4,000 students study in seven schools plus the Faculty of Religion and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Loma Linda has emerged into a health sciences university and medical center internationally known for advanced technology, service-oriented medical care, and education.

“Fulfilling the Vision” has been selected as the centennial theme for the University and Medical Center, referring to the institution’s vision of excellence in Christ-centered education, health care, and “making man whole.” Several celebration events have been held during the centennial year, recognizing the many contributions of alumni, faculty, medical missionaries, and students.

Pastor Lowell C. Cooper, a general vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church who chairs the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center Board of Trustees, said he hopes the school will have “remained faithful to its founding vision as a demonstration of the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus in a diverse and complex world” and continues to be “thoroughly Seventh-day Adventist in its institutional culture, ethos and practices.”

For more information on the school and hospital see www.llu.edu.


Copyright (c) 2005 by Adventist News Network
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Image by Image by ANN. courtesy of Loma Linda University
Image by Image by ANN Rajmund Dabrowski/ANN

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