John C. Herweg



Interview Date


Biographical History

John C. Herweg (1922-2018) was the former Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine. He served in that role from 1965 to 1990. He also served as the chairman of the committee on admissions and as an advisor to medical students. As associate dean, Herweg guided student affairs through new channels, including active recruitment of minority students, providing support for the increasing number of women seeking a career in medicine, and steady direction during student protests.

Herweg earned his medical degree from Washington University in 1945. He served a year-long internship at St. Louis Children's Hospital before serving as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1946 to 1948. Herweg returned to Children's Hospital as the chief resident after his military service.

In 1951, he joined the faculty at the School of Medicine as an instructor in pediatrics. Herweg became the director of the Clinical Research Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital until 1970.


An interview of the Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project, conducted by Edwin W. McCleskey and associates, 1990. Approximate Length: 44 minutes.

John Herweg discusses federal grant programs for attracting minority students, and admissions procedures for Washington University School of Medicine, and how the school has and has not been successful in attracting and retaining Black students and students from other minority groups.

Herweg begins by clarifying the medical school’s commitment to the recruitment and education program for minority students and further explaining capitation grants, both of which he discussed in his first interview. He then discusses the federal grant programs for minority students available in the 1970s.

Herweg next explains the admissions criteria for the medical school, how applications are reviewed, and how the number of applications from Black and other minority students has changed over time. He addresses the fact that the applicant pool of Black students has increased but the number of Black students enrolled has remained fairly stable.

He then discusses the university’s commitment to students from other minority groups, and how it can attract them. He closes by saying he believes that the school is on the brink of a leap forward and then gives his thoughts on the future of the school.


Washington University Medical Center Desegregation History Project


Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives


Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri