[Note: This article first appeared in the UConn Advance in 2000.]
The School of Pharmacy will celebrate two anniversaries this year :
its 60th year with the University and the 75th anniversary
of its founding.
A committee of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association voted in
1920 to recommend "that a College of Pharmacy be opened either
independently or in conjunction with one of the large universities in
the state of Connecticut."
A state commission accepted the CPA recommendation and on June 3,
1921, Gov. Marcus Holcomb signed the bill that chartered the
Connecticut College of Pharmacy. The pharmaceutical association
decided in March 1923 that it should be an independent college and
turned management over to a board of trustees.
The pharmacy college opened in October 1925, under the leadership
of its first dean, Dr. Gustavus Eliot of New Haven, offering a
two-year course leading to the degree of Ph.G. (Graduate in
The entering Class of 1927 had 85 members. The course of
study was extended to three years in 1927, and to a four-year program
In 1940, pharmacy college trustees and Dean Henry S. Johnson were
notified that future accreditation of the college would be dependent
on improving the college's financial condition and on becoming
affiliated with a university program.
Accrediting agencies for
pharmacy education programs had insisted that the college be
affiliated with a university before the re-accreditation process in
1942. The Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association also called for such
an arrangement, because "the increased prestige resulting
therefrom would attract better qualified young people to such a
Also at issue was indebtedness.
By late 1940, the college already had an association with the
University of Connecticut. The college had asked UConn to assist in
an appraisal of its non-scientific course work, and officials had
broached the idea of affiliation.
The University at the time was just
completing a reorganization of its divisions into schools and
colleges, following its establishment as a university in 1939.
At the Jan. 15, 1941 meeting of UConn's Board of Trustees,
President Albert N. Jorgensen presented a Jan. 10 letter from Curtis
P. Gladding, president of the pharmacy college's board,
requesting that it be "amalgamated or absorbed" by the
University and outlining the concerns of the accrediting
Wrote Gladding: "Altho (sic) we have operated very
successfully as an independent institution for the past 16 years, as
you will appreciate from what I have written above, our trustees feel
that the future of the school would be more stable if we were part of
a state university.
A very large majority of the 70 or 80 colleges of
pharmacy in this country are connected with state universities or
UConn trustees instructed Jorgensen to appoint a faculty committee
to study the pharmacy college's request.
report was favorable and, by May 1941, the General Assembly had
approved a bill that accepted the transfer of all assets of the
Connecticut College of Pharmacy to the University of Connecticut and
authorized the University to develop and implement a course in
The legislation said the college would continue at the site in New
Haven for a while, and noted that the personnel had been inducted
into the State Personnel Organization. All 18 pharmacy college
faculty became members of the University faculty.
As of June 30,
1941, the pharmacy college had an enrollment of 165 students and an
alumni group of nearly 500, spread throughout Connecticut and nearby
On Sept. 16, 1941, the first pharmacy classes with the University
of Connecticut began in New Haven. Ten years later, in 1951, pharmacy
moved to a new building on the Storrs campus. It was designated a
school in 1954.
Mark J. Roy