Although the year 2000 is recognized as the seventy-fifth anniversary of formalized Pharmacy education in Connecticut, the first call for such an institution was heard in the 1876 inaugural address of the first President of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association. Shortly after the 1921 Legislature approved a Pharmacy School charter, discussions were held with Yale and Wesleyan Universities to identify a home for the College. Failure in this endeavor was followed by the 1925 establishment of an independent College in New Haven in the old Yale Medical School facility with an entering class of 86 men and women. The 1927 Commencement Exercises witnessed the awarding of the first two honorary Pharm.D. Degrees.
The first twenty-five years were a tumultuous period of change. The first curriculum required two years to earn the Ph.G. degree, and was in place for only two years with the result that no students graduated in 1929. In 1930, the first three-year Ph.G. students graduated but only four such classes would complete their studies before another year of non-graduates (1935) would precede the first four-year baccalaureate graduation ceremony. This year also marked the admission of the College into the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. An additional landmark was the inclusion of the College in the first list of Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.
Even though the College endured during the thirties, it was a difficult period. The Great Depression had a significant impact on enrollment. In 1931, the Fall Semester was delayed due to an infantile paralysis scare. Many discussions took place with area Colleges and Universities seeking amalgamation. These discussions bore fruit and the Connecticut College of Pharmacy became the University of Connecticut College of Pharmacy in 1941. The last CCP Commencement Exercises in 1941 were concluded with the awarding of the last honorary Pharm.D. degree and exactly sixty years were to pass before this degree would again be presented.
During the next twenty-five years the College becomes a School, and was relocated to its present location on the main campus. The first Master of Science Degree in the Pharmaceutical Sciences was awarded in 1951 and the first Doctor of Philosophy in 1953. The faculty of the School enjoyed gradual growth and diversity as the research program expanded. In 1960 construction began for the nation’s first Pharmacy Research Institute on site, the same year that the five-year baccalaureate program was initiated. No class completed their studies in 1964. In 1972, the faculty initiated a comprehensive curriculum review, which was to result in the development of an integrated program and the initial introduction of clinical education into the program.
The final twenty-five years began with the faculty approving the concept of the Pharm.D. degree, and beginning the effort toward its establishment. In 1977, the first of twenty-two classes, graduated upon completion of the integrated program. In 1985, the Connecticut Board of Higher Education approved a Pharm.D. degree program that was not established due to fiscal constraints on the University. In 1996, the Board approved an entry level Pharm.D. Degree, which received sufficient University resources to permit the first upper division class to be admitted in 1997. For the fourth time in the School’s history there was no graduating class in 2000, the final baccalaureate class having completed their studies in 1999.
For seventy-five years this institution has provided the opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to prepare for careers in the various arenas of Pharmacy practice and in allied fields of endeavor. It has grown in a carefully orchestrated manner from a small private College in a rented building in the center of New Haven to a dominant force in Pharmacy education. Students, alumni, faculty and administrators may rightfully take pride in the accomplishments of the past three quarters of a century. Those now actively involved in the School’s educational and research programs and those to become involved during the next twenty-five years must embrace the mantle of responsibility to insure that in 2025 at the completion of one hundred years of Pharmacy education, programmatic quality and growth has been sustained. The history of this School is the people who have served in it, and those who have been served by it, and therein rests its future.
Karl A. Nieforth, Professor and Dean Emeritus