The Scudder’s involvement with “Service to Others” can be traced to a thunderstorm at a New England college in 1806. Five students from Williams College took shelter from a thunderstorm in a haystack. In what became known as the “Haystack Prayer Meeting”, they came to the common conviction that “the field is the world” and inspired the creation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions four years later. These young men sounded a clarion call that excited and inspired the youth of America caught up in the age of Romanticism sweeping the country in the early 19th century.
Over a 1000 Years of Service
A recent medical graduate of Princeton University, John Scudder, responded to the thunderclap call heard that fateful day in Williamstown, Massachusetts . He was the first of many generations of Scudders to hear it. In 1819, young Dr. Scudder and his devoted wife, Harriet, left Boston to begin a tradition of family service that has left a legacy of more than 1,250 combined years of medical mission assistance by four generations of the Scudder family in Sri Lanka, India and Saudi Arabia. The spirit of “Service to Others” that John Scudder responded to continues to live through The Scudder Association. As Scudders, we take pride in the pioneering medical mission work our relatives embarked on. The Association was founded to assist in supporting and perpetuating this work. The Association’s purpose is to provide a base and a voice, for those members of the founding American Scudder families, to gather in support in fulfilling Dr. John Scudder’s vision. The Association provides a direct connection for Scudders from around the world, with the vast medical community, in India, that resulted from that vision. A medical network that is nothing short of miracle.
Every miracle requires a saint. Enter Aunt Ida.
Ida Scudder was the granddaughter of Dr. John Scudder, Sr. She grew up in India. At an early age she recognized that the women of India were denied the advantages of western medicine due to the cultural taboo of India women being attended by male doctors. Ida returned to America to attend the Cornell Medical School, becoming one of America’s first woman doctors.
She returned to Vellore, India and began a medical practice catering to the women of Vellore and surrounding countryside.
Her dedication and unswerving commitment of “service to others”, over the course of 70 years, resulted in what is today India’s finest and largest private hospital and medical schools. In time, she became known to the people of India affectionately as, “Aunt Ida”. To those Scudders back in America, she became a source of pride and inspiration.
Ida Scudder – America’s first woman doctor
Dr. “Aunt” Ida’s spirit lives on in the thousands of doctors and nurses she touched. They have gone on to spread that same spirit of kindness and service to millions.
The last known picture of Dr. “Aunt” Ida Scudder
That was then, this is now
Today the Scudder Association hopes to continue and support that family tradition of “service to others”. In order to do so, we need your participation and help. There is no shortage of areas for you to take an active interest. We encourage you to take a moment to discover the many opportunities listed below to become involved.
The Scudder Association has had a long standing educational grant fund to assist those who wish to pursue a career in medicine, social and spiritual professions. To learn more on how you can help that fund grow or start your own specific educational grant Learn More
Since its founding the Scudder Association has played an active role in supporting two primary medical missions in India:
Christian Medical College – Vellore
Founded in 1900 by Dr. Ida S. Scudder, CMC has grown to become India’s largest and most prestigious teaching hospital and medical educational institution. Serving 1.3 million inpatients a year and offering 179 courses in nursing and medical postgraduate specialties, as well as PhD in a number of related disciplines.
Scudder Memorial Hospital
Silas Scudder, John Scudder’s son and Ida’s uncle, started the Scudder Memorial Hospital, in Ranipet, India, in 1866. It is one of India’s oldest hospitals and provides the healthcare needs for Ranipet and over 65 surrounding villages.
Discover what John and his son’s vision have become today. – Learn More
Please Make Yourself at Home, You’re Family.
We encourage you to spend time exploring our website and be witness to what one family’s commitment to helping others can accomplish. We think you’ll be impressed. Of course, any time you visit a hospital (or their web page), you run the risk of picking something up. We hope you do.
Catch the spirit – We have the cure for it.
Please help us keep the spirit alive.
As the Scudder Association prepares for its January journey to India's medical missions, founded and operated by Scudders, join the Board of Governors in a fund raising campaign to present a financial gift to Scudder Memorial Hospital during our visit. The Board has...read more
There are a good many Scudders among the millions affected by Hurricanes Harvey & Irma. The hearts of the Country and our Association have been saddened at the vast destruction brought on by the hurricanes roiling out of the Caribbean. We have been fortunate that...read more
The Scudder Association is founded on promoting and supporting the spirit of service. While a great deal of that service has been abroad, the education and training has long been encouraged and facilitated here by the Scudder Association. The Scudder Association has...read more
CMC Vellore was founded by an American, Dr. Ida S. Scudder. Born in South India in 1870, she spent most of her childhood in the US and was educated there. As the first woman graduate of Cornell Medical and first American woman to be licensed as a doctor, she returned...read more
Let's Celebrate the wonderful service of Wilhelmina Noordyk and her commitment to the Scudder Memorial Hospital Nursing School. Over her 35 years of service she become the first Nursing Superintendent of the Scudder Memorial Hospital, in Ranipet, India. With the...read more
"Old" money can get lonely. Here's how... The Scudder Association was founded principally to provide financial assistance to the Scudder medical missions overseas. Funds were established for supporting both short and long term operational goals. To insure future...read more