Upon the death of College President and Acting Dean Claude Burrett, J.A.W. Hetrick Jr., M.D., ‘1918, served as acting dean from 1941-1942, then as dean from 1942-1953, and then as president from 1953-1957.
Dr. Hetrick was born in Asbury Park, N.J., in April 1895. He enrolled at New York Medical College and graduated under the accelerated program during World War I. He graduated in February 1918 and interned at the College's Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals and also at Essex County Hospital in New Jersey. He later studied at Post Graduate College of the New York Ophthalmic Hospital where he received his credentials in Eye, Nose and Throat in 1921.
Dr. Hetrick later becomes superintendent of Essex County Hospital, and in 1922, was made an instructor of otolaryngology at the College. In 1924, he acted as registrar in the College's administrative offices. In 1927, he became assistant dean and in 1935 he became associate dean. He was made professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology in 1928. Dr. Hetrick was made a member of the American College in 1926 and became a diplomate of the Board of Otolaryngology in 1935.
In 1941, shortly after the death of College President and Acting Dean Burrett, Dr. Hetrick was appointed acting dean. A short time later Dr. Hetrick was appointed dean and later president of the College. In May 1948, through his efforts, he founded a new society titled, The Society of the New York Medical College Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospitals and Affiliated Institutions, which, in 1992, later becomes the New York Medical College Medical Education Consortium managed by the NYMC School of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME).
On November 21, 1918, he married Lillian Morgan. Ms. Morgan volunteered at Prentiss Library at the College's Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospital which, when the library was moved across the hall in 1966, was renamed the Lillian Morgan Hetrick Library (1966-1970) in honor of her years of service.
In 2006, their daughter, Lillian Hetrick Huber, upon her death, bequeathed $1 million to endow the College's Health Sciences Library. Mrs. Huber’s son (and grandson of the late Dr. J.A.W. Hetrick Jr.), Jeffrey B. Chick, M.D.’75, presented the gift to the College at the dedication ceremony announcing The Lillian Hetrick Huber Health Sciences Library Directorship Endowment.