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UW School of Pharmacy

A Timeline To Excellence: History Explained

School of Pharmacy in 1963.

The University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy was founded in 1946 under the leadership of Dr. David W. O'Day. The School was originally located in the basement of Merica Hall. By 1962, the School (then the College of Pharmacy) occupied the entire building. By 1949, Merica Hall was designated the Merica Pharmacy Building, but then renamed Merica Hall after the School of Pharmacy was moved to the newly constructed Pharmacy Building in 1969. The School of Pharmacy is now a part of the College of Health Sciences Center.


From Early Beginnings...

The school's beginnings were tied to a deliberate expansion of university offerings by UW President George Duke Humphrey, who led the university from 1945 to 1964. According to the book Wyoming University: The First 100 Years, 1886-1986, "Programmatic expansion began immediately after the war. As early as September 1945, Duke Humphrey called on deans and department heads to present to him in writing summaries of their immediate needs and future plans."

In addition to proposing a new College of Pharmacy (now the School of Pharmacy), the UW president spearheaded creation of a College of Commerce (now the College of Business), School of Fine Arts (now part of the College of Arts and Sciences), a School of Home Economics (part of the College of Agriculture), and programs in forestry and veterinary science.

Both UW's history and the pharmacy school's history were dramatically affected by the termination of World War II and subsequent return of soldiers to civilian life. In the mid-1940s, UW's expansion efforts were bolstered by the influx of many former GIs who enrolled as students under the new GI Bill, designed to assist WW II veterans with education and training upon their return from service.

Founded in 1946, The University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy was organized in the fall of 1946 as a unit in the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. David W. O’Day was appointed head of the School of Pharmacy and Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts. Thirty-one students, 27 men and 4 women were enrolled with 23 classified as freshmen, 6 as sophomores, and 2 as specials.

Only the first year of the four-year curriculum was offered during the 1946-1947 fiscal year. The School of Pharmacy had two faculty members, including Dr. O’Day. The School of Pharmacy moved into the basement of Merica Hall (later designated Merica Pharmacy). The School of Pharmacy was established as an autonomous unit of the University in 1948. The administrative head was a dean and Dr. O’Day assumed the position.

First graduating class of the UW School of Pharmacy.Pharmacy member Bob Nelson.Past UW School of Pharmacy administration. Past UW School of Pharmacy administration. Past UW School of Pharmacy student.Student working in older UW School of Pharmacy lab.Student working in older UW School of Pharmacy lab.Students working in older UW School of Pharmacy lab.Ariel photo showing the UW campus in the 1950's.Gathering of UW Pharmacy administration. Older photo showing UW School of Pharmacy students gathered on outside building steps.Two pharmacists working in a pharmacy. Pharmacy students using a computer.

Two pharmacy students wearing their white coats.UW School of Pharmacy Class of 2014.Faculty and students gathering in the UW College of Health Sciences.Bobbie Cesko with Joe Steiner. UW Pharmacy students gathering outside. UW Pharmacy students staffing an information table. UW School of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony. UW Graduation Ceremony. UW School of Pharmacy graduate.

To Our 75th Anniversary Celebration!

In 1949, the name School of Pharmacy was changed to College of Pharmacy. The College occupied the basement and the first floor of Merica Pharmacy. The entire four-year curriculum was offered for the first time Fall 1949. 129 students were enrolled in the four years. June 1950 saw the first-class graduate with 23 graduates - 21 men and 2 women.

The four-year curriculum was accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education. The College occupied the basement and the first two floors of Merica Pharmacy. The five-year curriculum became effective in 1960. The College of Pharmacy’s five-year program was accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education In 1962, the College of Pharmacy occupied the entire Merica Pharmacy building.

Dean David O’Day retired in 1966 and Dr. Jack N. Bone became the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. The University of Wyoming established the College of Health Sciences in 1968. The College consisted of the School of Pharmacy (name change from College of Pharmacy), the School of Nursing and the Division of Paramedical Sciences. Dean Bone remained the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and assumed the position of Dean of the College of Health Sciences.

The new School of Pharmacy building was occupied in 1969. The clinical pharmacy program was started in 1972 with the hiring of Robert D. Scalley, Pharm.D. 1996, the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum began. This year we celebrate our 75th year of pharmacy education.


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