From: The Road to Excellence
The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy 1925-2000
Edited by Karl A. Neiforth, Ph.D.
The Connecticut College of Pharmacy opened its doors for the first time on October 20, 1925. Its beginning, however, dates back many years before that time. Ever since the establishment of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association in 1876, the words of its first president, Nathan Dikeman, had served to guide the actions of this group relative to its intent and support of professional standards. In 1878, Mr. Dikeman stated, “The real purpose of the organization is to do everything for pharmacy to elevate the standards of the profession, and merit the confidence of the public.” The necessity, as well as the desirability, of establishing a college of pharmacy was a topic for discussion at each annual meeting in the early history of the Association and nearly every year until the College was established.
In 1882, President L. I. Munson spoke in his address as follows: “Colleges of pharmacy, now found in every section of the country, are furnishing the opportunity of gaining a thorough education to the young. I mention this briefly in order to suggest what our duty should prompt us to do in relation to it. The demand of the present age is for more education and a higher standard of proficiency in every department of life. Let it not be said that this Association is behind its kindred in appreciating and acting upon this principal.”
Despite this suggestion and although the matter was considered at great length in the interim at various meetings of the Executive Committee, it was not until April 9, 1920, that this Committee voted to recommend to the Association that a college be opened, either independently or in conjunction with one of the large universities in the State. In the same year, President C. T. Hull followed up this action, recommending the opening of a college in his presidential address. These recommendations were thoroughly discussed and unanimously adopted by the Association. A special committee was appointed to carry these matters along.
The following spring, a charter was obtained from the State Legislature. It was signed by the governor on June 3, 1921, and was granted to the following individuals: Harvey P. Bissell, John W. Marsland, Herbert M. Lerou, John B. Ebbs, M. Frank Hope and Patrick J. Garvin.
With the passage of a state law in 1921 requiring college graduation after January 1, 1925 as one of the conditions upon which men and women could enter the profession of pharmacy, the establishment of a college became an urgent necessity. A special meeting of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association was held on March 26, 1923 for the purpose of establishing a college. Discussions with officials of Yale University and Wesleyan University had failed to bring agreement on the establishment of a school of pharmacy as a part of their universities, due chiefly to lack of sufficient financial support. Therefore, it was voted to open an independent college and to turn the entire management and control over to a board of trustees, which was elected at that same meeting. The Board consisted of twenty-five members, nineteen in addition to the six to whom the charter had been granted. This board organized itself by the election of officers and by adopting a constitution and by-laws and was composed of the following members: Harvey P. Bissell of Bloomfield, George F. Blackall of Bristol, George A. Chancler of Hartford, Karl O. Cyrus of Bridgeport, Kund J. Damtoft of Bridgeport, John B. Ebbs of Waterbury, Patrick J. Garvin of New Haven, Curtis P. Gladding of Hartford, Ernest L. Gyde of Waterbury, William P. Hindle of Bridgeport, Hubert C. Hodge of East Hampton, M. Frank Hope of New Haven, Charles T. Hull of New Haven, Fred W. Lake of Waterbury, Herbert M. Lerou of Norwich, John W. Marsland of New Britain, Louis Montanaro of New Haven, Semion S. Nelson of Hartford, Alfred V. Oxley of Southington, William H. Pickett of Waterbury, Harrison E. Purdy of Derby, Frank A. Sisk of New Haven, F. W. Smith of Willimantic, Levi Wilcox of Waterbury and Charles W. Whittlesey of New Haven. The officers were: President Curtis P. Gladding; Vice Presidents Fred W. Lake, Herbert M. Lerou, John B. Ebbs and Alfred V. Oxley; Recording Secretary Charles T. Hull; Treasurer Fred W. Lake; Financial Secretary John B. Ebbs.
Later the Dean of the College was made an ex-officio member of the Board, and still later, in 1935, the size of the Board was reduced to fifteen members as the larger number represented a rather unwieldy body.
Dr. Curt P. Wimmer, Professor at the Columbia University, College of Pharmacy, who had for many years been a delegate from New York to the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association meetings, offered his services to help organize the new school. Permission to do this was granted him by the Trustees of the Columbia University College of Pharmacy.
Appeals for financial assistance from the pharmacists of the State were made and a representative was named to solicit funds in the form of purchases of stock at $100 each in the institution. The representative, working on a commission basis, made claims of dividends that would be declared on the stock in the future. Approximately $20,000 was realized in this drive. Most of those who bought stock realized that it was simply a contribution toward the new school, but some believed that they would receive a substantial return on their investment.
Under its Charter the College was empowered to grant degrees of Graduate in Pharmacy (Ph. G.) and Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.). In June 1925, the Board of Trustees decided to actively begin the organization of the College. The announcement, to the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association, that the College would be opened the coming fall was received with applause and satisfaction.
A former Yale Medical School building at 150 York Street in New Haven, which had been used since 1861, and which had just recently been vacated when the Medical School moved to newly constructed quarters on Cedar Street, was rented and Professor Wimmer began purchases of equipment and selection of a faculty for the new school. Dr. Wimmer engaged Dr. Gustavus Eliot to serve as the first dean. He had been a prominent New Haven physician for many years, and was a graduate of Yale and of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He was also to teach the courses in physiology and in materia medica.
Henry S. Johnson was chosen as Professor of Chemistry, at the suggestion of Dr. Eliot. He had recently returned from serving for two years as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico and at the time of his selection was Head of the Chemistry Department at Hillhouse High School in New Haven. M. Donald Cadman was selected as Professor of Pharmacy. He was a recent member of the staff at the School of Pharmacy at Columbia. Frederick S. Eaton was appointed Professor of Botany and Pharmacognosy. He was a member of a New Haven family whose father and grandfather were Yale professors. The instructors chosen in each of these departments were Nevill Isbell in chemistry, Willard J. Simpson in botany and Nicholas W. Fenney, a recent graduate of Columbia University, in pharmacy. Except for laboratory assistants, a registrar and one office helper, two part-time instructors, one each in physics and in pharmaceutical law, this group was the original staff of the new college.
For admission to the course of instruction, the applicant was required to fulfill the following qualifications: (I) must be at least seventeen years of age; (II) must have had four years of high school education or possess an equivalent thereto; and (III) must be of good moral character.
The College was opened October 20, 1925 with ceremonies in the presence of several members of the Board of Trustees, the faculty and the entering class of 86 students. All except one of the students in the 1925-26 class were residents of Connecticut and over half were from New Haven. A few from more distant points found living quarters in New Haven, but the great majority commuted. There were four women in the first class.
Since the program of studies consisted of only two years, the new students were called the “first-year” or “junior” class. The two-year course was the program then in effect in New York, on which the School was patterned due to Dr. Wimmer’s influence, although even then many schools offered a three-year course and several offered a four-year program.
Classes were held from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leaving the alternative days for work in a pharmacy and for study. In 1925-26 only a first-year class was enrolled, but in the fall of 1926 a new class entered and classes were held for them on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., again as had been the custom in the schools in New York.
In 1925, only the two-year course leading to the degree of Ph.G. was offered. Three plans of payment of tuition were available: in one payment of $175, in two payments totaling $180 and in three payments totaling $185. In addition to tuition charge, there also was a fee for breakage of $10, a registration fee of $5 and an examination fee of $10.
The courses offered consisted of the following subjects:
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Analytical Chemistry
- Theory of Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Arithmetic
- Pharmaceutical Latin
- Manufacturing Pharmacy
- Dispensing Laboratory
- Vegetable Histology
- Organic Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence
- Materia Medica
- Advanced Analytical Chemistry
- Dispensing Pharmacy
- Manufacturing Pharmacy
- Theoretical Pharmacy
- Commercial Pharmacy
On May 25, 1927, the first commencement exercises were held at Sprague Hall of Yale University where this ceremony was held for every class through 1941 while the College was in New Haven and an independent institution. Fifty-six candidates received the Ph. G. degree. Professor Wimmer was awarded an honorary degree of Master of Pharmacy (Ph. M.), although it was not until 1929 that the College received the right to award this degree. The new College was off to a good start, but financial problems were constantly present, for no educational institution could operate successfully on the income from student fees alone.
In 1927, Dr. Eliot’s duties became too heavy and Professor Johnson, who had already been carrying some of the administrative duties in addition to his teaching schedule, was formally named Associate Dean. In the summer of 1928, Dr. Eliot asked to be retired as Dean, and Associate Dean Johnson was named Acting Dean, a position he held until 1930, when he was officially named as the second dean of the College. At the time he was named Acting Dean, at age 29, he had the distinction of being the youngest dean of any pharmacy school in the United States. He also continued his teaching assignments throughout his deanship. Dr. Eliot was made Dean Emeritus and he was also made a member of the Board of Trustees and elected as one of the vice-presidents of the Board. The duties of the dean included many not now commonly associated with that office. He served as a superintendent of buildings and grounds, Comptroller, bursar, director of purchasing and sales for student textbooks and laboratory supplies, librarian (up to 1938), personnel manager, admission’s officer, director of placement and counselor. He had the services of a registrar and two secretaries. Furthermore, time was spent prior to the start of each semester in making up class schedules, which were difficult to work out to avoid conflicts, in view of the small number of classrooms and laboratories available. Assigning use of the building to groups outside the school hours was also the responsibility of the dean, as was the preparation and the printing of the College Announcement and Catalogue.
The “Regulations for Students” in effect during the early period in New Haven are of interest. The regulations, as listed in one of the early catalogues, were as follows:
Students are required to refrain from all acts tending to produce disorder and must maintain good deportment at all times. The College reserves the right to terminate the connection of any student with this College for conduct, which may be deemed improper, disorderly, or immoral, or for unsatisfactory scholarship. Any student, whose relations are thus severed, forfeits all rights in and claims upon this College.
All students may be held equally responsible for wasteful and improper use or loss of School property or appliances. Whenever, in the judgment of the instructor in charge, wasteful use or loss appears, the College may assess alike all members of the class to make good the same, unless personal responsibility for the waste or loss be established.
- No smoking shall be allowed in the School building above the basement.
- In any course the minimum of attendance for which credit is allowed is 90%. Regular attendance upon all scheduled work is required, and absence without cause may debar a student from the final examination.
- The margin of 10% is allowed to provide against serious illness and unavoidable absence, and must never be approached except under those circumstances. The College may require the withdrawal of a student at any time for a repeated infraction of any regulation.
- No student shall be pledged to or elected to any fraternity, sorority, society, club or similar organization at the Connecticut College of Pharmacy until the week following the midyear examinations of the Freshman year.
- No student at the Connecticut College of Pharmacy shall be elected to any such organization as specified above until his or her name has been approved in writing by the faculty committee. The faculty committee will not approve any student who has failure marks of more than one “E” unless his general average is above 80%. If a student fails to pass the faculty committee, his name may be submitted again at the end of the next marking period.
- Any fraternity, sorority, society, club or similar organization wishing to secure recognition by the faculty of the Connecticut College of Pharmacy must submit a list of the members, in writing, to the faculty committee, along with other material concerning the group, such as name, purpose, national affiliation (if any), etc. No group will be recognized unless each member fulfills the scholarship requirement stated above.
- Initiations in the School building that interfere in any way with the regular college work are forbidden.
- No student shall represent the School on an athletic team or similar organization unless his scholarship record is as good as that defined above.
- No student shall leave the School property until the close of School without written permission.
- Gambling and the use of alcoholic liquors on the School premises is prohibited.
A series of very difficult problems beset the new College, most of them of a financial nature. By 1927, it became apparent that the two-year program was inadequate and the class that entered in the fall of that year embarked on a three-year program, which most of the schools of Pharmacy in the United States were already offering.
The course of study was as follows:
- Elementary Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
- Microscopic Botany
- Plant Histology
- Theoretical Pharmacy
- Pharmacy Latin
- Pharmacy Calculations
- Elementary Organic Chemistry
- Qualitative Analysis
- Advanced Theoretical Pharmacy
- Advanced Manufacturing Pharmacy
- Commercial Pharmacy
- Elementary Materia Medica and Posology
- General Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Quantitative Analysis
- Organic Preparations
- Drug Assaying
- Dispensing Pharmacy
- Commercial Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence
- Pharmacology and Therapeutics
- Biologicals and New Remedies
At the commencement exercises for the class of 1928, Dr. E. F. Kelly, secretary of the American Pharmaceutical Association and former Dean of the Maryland College of Pharmacy, was the speaker. Curtis P. Gladding, President of the Board of Trustees of the College received an honorary degree of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), as did Patrick J. Garvin, a member of the Board of Trustees and Lecturer in Pharmacy Law. Due to the change from the two-year to the three-year course there was no graduating class in 1929.
In 1929, the schedule of classes changed from the three-days-a-week schedule to a five-and-one-half-days-a-week program for all students. The speaker at the commencement exercises for the class of 1930 was Dr. Curt P. Wimmer. The Ph. G. degree was awarded to these graduates as it had been for the two-year graduates.
By 1930, it had become evident that the School must shortly embark on a minimum four-year course, along with all the other Pharmacy schools of the United States. In March 1932 the Board of Trustees voted to adopt this requirement and the entering class in the fall of 1932 was enrolled in such a program, for which a Bachelor’s degree would be granted.
This action brought about a sharp decrease in enrollment, with a corresponding loss in student fees on which the College was dependent for its operation. The first graduating class from the four-year course consisted of only sixteen members.
The College was hampered financially by another problem. It was unable to obtain the tax exemption status enjoyed by other educational institutions, due to the stock certificates, which were still outstanding. A drive was therefore instituted to try to obtain those certificates not already turned in, but the action was only partly successful. Some of the holders refused to surrender but demanded repayment at the redemption value of $105. To overcome the problem, the Trustees passed a resolution declaring the outstanding stock certificates to be null and void. This made the request for tax exemption reasonable, and it was granted soon thereafter.
The College needed additional space and an enlarged faculty for the added courses of the four-year program. This need was complicated by a number of factors. The country was in the midst of a depression, and the students were experiencing great difficulty in paying their fee bills. Also, Professor Wimmer had presented the Board of Trustees with a bill of $25,000 for his service in starting the new school — $2,500 to be paid each year over a period of ten years. There was much controversy among the Trustees as to whether or not this should be paid, as many had assumed that he had volunteered his services and that he expected only his expenses in return. However, his supporters on the Board prevailed and a contract was signed with him for the payment he had requested. He was to continue on as advisor to the Trustees as a part of his contract, but some of the Board felt that this was no longer necessary, as the new school was firmly established and the money could be better used for other purposes. Some of those opposed to the contract with Dr. Wimmer contacted members of the Board of Trustees at Columbia University School of Pharmacy, where Dr. Wimmer was serving as a Professor. They were greatly disturbed at Dr. Wimmer’s demands on the young institution. The Columbia trustees voted to ask him to discontinue his contract with Connecticut, or with Columbia. Quite predictably, he chose to stay on at Columbia, but by that time he had already received two payments under his contract. The remaining $20,000 was never paid.
The class of 1931 heard Dean Theodore J. Bradley of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy at its commencement exercises. In common with many other schools in Connecticut in the fall of 1931, the opening of the College was delayed for one week from the 16th of September to the 23rd as a precautionary measure against the spread of infantile paralysis. This disease had taken a toll of 41 lives in the State that year, and several hundred cases were under treatment.
Dean Emeritus Gustavus Eliot passed away quite suddenly on March 2, 1932 of an attack of angina pectoris. A large delegation from the College, headed by Dean Johnson, attended the funeral and all classes were suspended on that afternoon.
Dr. Howard W. Haggard of Yale was the speaker at the commencement exercises of the class of 1932. Honorary Pharm.D. degrees were given to two members of the Board of Trustees who had long served as officers of that Board. John B. Ebbs, Secretary, of Waterbury, and Herbert M. Lerou, Vice President, of Norwich received this honor.
In 1932, the faculty took a ten-percent cut in salary in order to help the College maintain a more certain financial position, and each June for several years thereafter, a few members of the Board of Trustees personally signed a note to obtain enough money to pay salaries and rent for the summer until the receipt of student fees in the fall. Despite this problem, the scholastic standards during this period were faithfully maintained.
In 1933, the commencement speaker was Dr. Robert P. Fischelis, Secretary of the State Board of Pharmacy of New Jersey, and Vice President of the American Pharmaceutical Association. Honorary degrees of Pharm.D. were given to George L. Rapport of Hartford and to Fred W. Lake of Waterbury, both of whom had been very active in the organization and advancement of the College.
In 1934, the commencement speaker was Dr. Robert L. Swain, Secretary-Treasurer of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, and a past president of the American Pharmaceutical Association. On this occasion both he and Dr. Fischelis received honorary Pharm.D. degrees.
There was no graduating class in 1935 due to the change in the length of the curriculum, but in August of that year a milestone was passed when the College was admitted to membership in the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, which thereby placed the School on the list of approved colleges in the United States.
On June 6, 1936, the first of the four-year Bachelor of Science graduates received their degrees with Dr. Ernest Little, Dean of the Rutgers University College of Pharmacy, as the commencement speaker. This class completed the following course of study:
- Introduction to Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Technique
- General Chemistry
- Arithmetic of Pharmacy
- Operative Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical Latin
- Accounting and Business
- Qualitative Analysis
- Organic Chemistry
- Operative Pharmacy
- Advertising and Selling
- Quantitative Analysis
- Dispensing Pharmacy
- Arithmetic of Pharmacy Review
- Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence
- Public Health
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Despite its unstable financial state, it became necessary to obtain additional quarters, or other quarters for the College. There was a growing difficulty to obtain renewal of the lease far enough in advance of the fall opening so that the College could be certain of not having to move, or be forced to pay higher rental fees. A building at the rear of 150 York Street, which the Yale Medical School had also used since 1897, was vacant and in 1937 the board of Trustees purchased this property, in addition to the front building, which they had rented and occupied since 1925. Money was needed for equipping the new quarters, and again members of the Trustees personally pledged their credit on the mortgage of the entire transaction. Indebtedness to them for their sacrifice has never before been publicly acknowledged.
For several years members of the faculty at the College gave a series of demonstrations for students enrolled in the Yale Medical School program to provide some insight into the work of the pharmacist, in the hope of bringing about a better understanding between the two professions. Another project aimed at improving the relationship with other professions was a series of lectures on prescription writing given by members of the faculty to groups of dentists, podiatrists and to students of pharmacology at the Yale Medical School. Members of the faculty who participated in these lectures were Dean Johnson and Professors Fenney, Maier, Fuller and Barrett. At the Commencement Exercises in 1937, Dean Leonard O’Connell of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy was the speaker.
The rear building, commonly referred to as the “Annex,” was first opened in the fall of 1937. In addition to larger future quarters for the library, it contained faculty offices, classrooms, a laboratory, a basement student locker-room and a recreation room. Heretofore, because of limited laboratory space no pharmacology laboratory had been available. Through arrangements with the Yale Medical School Department of Pharmacology, groups of pharmacy students were given several demonstrations each year in the techniques of pharmacology.
Until 1938, the library of the College was somewhat limited and was kept in a small room, which later also served, at the same time, as the Office of the Dean. On the acquisition of a second building, a large, well-lighted room was equipped as a library. For the first time, a full-time staff person was appointed to supervise the cataloging of books and their distribution to students and faculty. The speaker for the Commencement Exercises in 1938 was Dean W. Henry Rivard of the Rhode Island College of Pharmacy.
In 1939, and almost before it was realized, much of the student body was being drafted for service in the World War II conflict. This occurred despite many hours spent by the Dean filling out forms and writing letters to Selective Service Boards all over the State to have students deferred until the end of their course.
In 1940, the College was included in the first list of accredited schools and colleges by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education, after careful inspection by a committee of that body. In 1940, Dr. A. L. Omohundro, a member of the Board of Trustees and Director of the Laboratories of McKesson and Robbins in Fairfield, was awarded the honorary degree, and he gave the Commencement address. The last Commencement Exercises of the “independent” Connecticut College of Pharmacy were held at Sprague Hall on June 5, 1941 and Frederick D. Lascoff of New York, Professor of Pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy, Columbia University, was the speaker and was also awarded the honorary Pharm.D. degree. This was the last honorary degree to be given by the College, and the last Pharm.D. awarded by the School until 2001 when the first all Pharm.D. class is scheduled to graduate.
Even before the opening of the College in 1925, efforts had been made to establish the School as a part of one of the private universities in Connecticut, but without success due to insufficient funds to endow a professorship in pharmacy. In 1940, when the war reduced the enrollment at the College to an all-time low, with a consequent drop in income from fees, meetings were arranged with Dr. Albert N. Jorgensen, President of the University of Connecticut, to determine if he would be favorable to having the College become a School of the University of Connecticut.
President Jorgensen showed interest in acquiring a school of pharmacy, but felt the initiative should be taken by the Trustees of the College of Pharmacy. Measures were therefore taken to have a bill introduced into the General Assembly authorizing amalgamation of the Connecticut College of Pharmacy into the University of Connecticut. On July 1, 1941, by act of the General Assembly, the Connecticut College of Pharmacy became the College of Pharmacy of the University of Connecticut, although it continued to occupy the quarters on York Street for another ten years. Many hours of work were contributed by many individuals to bring about the amalgamation, which assured a future for the College without the major financial problems that had so long been experienced.
Agreement had been made for the University of Connecticut to take title to the property at York Street and all other assets as well as duties and obligations of the Connecticut College of Pharmacy. The Dean, all faculty and all staff were to be retained at their 1941 status, and classes were to be continued at the New Haven site until new quarters might be built at Storrs. Periodic visits to the School were made by President Jorgensen, Mr. Leonard C. Riccio, University Comptroller, and other officers from the Storrs campus to discuss the varied problems with Dean Johnson. The Board of Trustees of the College was to be retained as an advisory board, but they no longer held meetings after 1942. The Alumni Association of the Pharmacy College was to continue and all former graduates were to be eligible for membership in the Alumni Association of the University of Connecticut.
In the fall of 1941, there was a further sharp drop in enrollment, which was ascribed to the availability of many attractive positions in the defense industries. The freshman class, which numbered 55, dropped to 10 members as seniors, and most of these were women. This created problems from two viewpoints: first, the School was not training sufficient young men and women to supply the needs of the State and second, the School was not attracting a sufficient number of students to satisfy its enrollment based budget. The Selective Service draft was not a factor in the decreased enrollment.
In September 1941, as a war-related measure, a program was initiated to accelerate the educational program for the military and for the civilian population. Under this program, the School operated on a twelve-month, trimester basis. Entering students in September 1941 could receive their degree in June 1944. Despite this procedure, enrollment did not increase. It also brought a financial burden to the State since most members of the faculty received additional compensation for teaching in the trimester program.
On May 7 the Class of 1942 went to Storrs to participate in the Commencement Exercises there, and for the first time, the diplomas were issued by the University of Connecticut. Ironically, for most of the graduates it was their first visit to the campus at Storrs.
About two years before the affiliation with the University of Connecticut, a retirement program for members of the faculty and staff at the College of Pharmacy had been established with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association. Unfortunately, this program could not be continued after the amalgamation; although all of the faculty and staff were enrolled in the State Retirement System. However, this meant that several of the groups, with many years of service, would have their employment dated only from July 1, 1941 when amalgamation with the University took place. This was later corrected by a Special Act of the Legislature and faculty members were given credit for service from the date they were first employed by the Connecticut College of Pharmacy.
Although affiliation as a School of the University of Connecticut helped in many ways, the problem of future quarters for the School, which had been discussed by the Board of Trustees for more than ten years, was not yet solved. In his annual report of 1942, the Dean urged the Board “to seek funds at the next meeting of the Connecticut General Assembly to erect a building for the School of Pharmacy on the campus at Storrs, so that the advantages of University life may be extended to the Pharmacy students.” Of course no building could be started due to wartime priorities, but it was felt that “it was not too early to have plans ready as soon as the war is over.”
In the session of the Connecticut General Assembly in 1943 a bill was introduced for the erection of a new building at Storrs for the School of Pharmacy, but it failed, due in part to the difficulty of carrying out any building operation in the following biennium. Governor Baldwin, appearing at a convention of the Connecticut Pharmaceutical Association in January 1943, spoke favorably of approving funds for this purpose as soon as “wartime conditions would permit.”
As early as 1936 a drive by the Trustees had been started to obtain an endowment for the College and was headed by one of their number, Clark H. W. Newton. The accreditation of a college required that income from stable sources other than student fees should at least equal that obtained from student fees. Although affiliation with the University made this provision less urgent, the Dean pointed out in his message to the Trustees in 1942 that the attempt to obtain an endowment for the School would continue.
As the war continued most male students sought a deferment so that they might complete their course before entering into military service. Due to the accelerated program, the next class finished its course in January 1943 and received its diplomas at Storrs in May.
In 1943 the School, after reexamination, was fully accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. The letter from the Council to the Dean read as follows:
“It was most gratifying to the Council to be informed, through Dean Little’s report, of the progress which has been made by the Connecticut College of Pharmacy in advancement of its standards, and I take this opportunity to congratulate you and the members of your staff for what you have accomplished in such a short period of time. I feel that the Council would also desire that I express its appreciation to President Jorgensen for the interest he has taken in promoting the welfare of the College.”
At the 1943 session of the Connecticut General Assembly an appropriation of $36,000 was approved to pay off the mortgage on the buildings at York Street, and for the first time the School was without indebtedness.
In 1943, Dean Johnson was elected Vice President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. In 1946, he was elected President of this Association. In commenting on this honor the Dean said, “I am sure that these honors, which have come to me are to a very large degree a recognition of the esteem in which the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy is held by the member colleges of the Association, and I in no way consider it a personal triumph.”
The Class of 1944 received diplomas along with another “accelerated” class, which had completed the course in September 1943. The students in this case were allowed to take their Pharmacy board exams before they had their diplomas, since they had successfully completed their studies earlier, a policy which continues today for students completing their programs in December.
Of the eighteen commissions granted in 1944 for officers in the newly formed Pharmacy Corps of the regular United States Army, one went to a graduate of the School, Lieutenant Leo Collins of the Class of 1943. Of more than 900 applicants who took the written examination for these commissions, only 10 percent passed.
Student deferments were discontinued July 1, 1944 so the accelerated program was discontinued in the fall of that year, — the second School of Pharmacy in the United States to do so. After the war a group of returned veterans was admitted in September 1946, and given credit for work they had successfully completed before going into service. More than 280 young men and women who were former students at the School served in the armed forces of the United States. At least five were killed in action,1 one died of illness while in service,2 and one was a prisoner of war in Germany.3
In April of 1946 an examination of the profession of Pharmacy was undertaken on a national basis. This endeavor, the “Pharmaceutical Survey,” extended over two years. Dean Johnson, as President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy during that period, was an active participant in this effort.
The enrollment at the School in 1946-47 was the largest in the history of the School; the entering class numbered 90. More than 50% of the male enrollment were veterans and 20% were women. There were only five graduates in 1947. Returning veterans who had completed two years of college before entering the service in 1943 joined with another group of students who had entered the college in 1944. Both groups completed their junior year in June 1947 after each following a different curriculum. Both groups studied the same course for their senior year and graduated in June 1948.
In the Spring of 1947 Dean Johnson, after serving in an administrative capacity for 20 years, asked to be relieved of those duties, and to continue on in a teaching role as Professor of Chemistry. President Jorgensen acceded to his request and selected Dr. Harold G. Hewitt, Professor of Chemistry of the University of Buffalo, School of Pharmacy, to become the third Dean of the School of Pharmacy. He assumed his duties on August 1, 1947.
- Lt. Leslie Blakeslee, graduate (Class of 1942), U.S. Marine Corps
Pvt. Melvin Prawdzik, graduate (Class of 1936), U.S. Army
E. J. MacMullen, (Class of 1945) U. S. Army
Pvt. Paul Shapiro, Class of 1945 (left in freshman year), U.S. Army
- Dwight Boardman, Class of 1947 (left in freshman year), U.S. Merchant Marine
- Louis Capiello, graduate (Class of 1940)