Take this decade-by-decade tour of the history of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences beginning with the College's origins in 1881 and continuing through to the present day.
When it was chartered in 1881, ACP (as it would be known for the next 127 years) was one of only 14 colleges of pharmacy in the United States. On October 3, 1881, the College held its inaugural class in the Eagle Street building that also housed Albany Medical College (see photo). The class was attended by 21 students, including one woman, Sarah Simonet. Students who would go on to complete the two-year program earned a Ph.G. or Graduate in Pharmacy degree.
The year was 1881. In May, Louis Pasteur demonstrated that he had developed an effective vaccine against anthrax in cattle and Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.
On July 2, the country was rocked when President James Garfield was shot on his way to a seaside vacation in New Jersey. He died September 19, the second president in 16 years to be assassinated, making Chester A. Arthur the 21st President of the United States.
In Albany, plans were being drawn up for a new college for the study of pharmacy. Although the seed for the college had been planted in the late 1870s by Willis Tucker, M.D., Ph.D., of the Albany Medical College faculty and Gustavus Michaelis, Ph.G., of the Albany Pharmaceutical Corp., there was little interest at the time and the proposal was shelved.
It wasn't until 1880 that the idea was revived by Archibald McClure, a wholesale druggist in the city, in concert with Albany Medical College Professor Jacob Mosher, M.D., and Board member Joseph Russell. Finally, on August 27, 1881, Albany College of Pharmacy of Union University was incorporated. At the time, ACP (as it would be known for the next 127 years) was one of only 14 colleges of pharmacy in the United States, with the closest schools located in New York City and Montreal.
Albany proved to be an attractive location, providing fertile ground for new students. In the early years the College utilized lecture halls and labs at Albany Medical College, then located in the former Lancaster School on Eagle Street (see photo), between Jay and Lancaster, and a block from Albany's brand new State Capitol building. Students also could attend, free of charge, lectures in any of the other departments at Union or at the State Library and State Museum of Natural History.
The cost of living was reasonable compared to other cities. Although there were no facilities for living on campus, "good board and rooms could be had for $3.50-$6 per week" and students were advised that "by clubbing together and boarding themselves, they [could] live comfortably and pleasantly at even lower rates."
The first course of lectures at ACP began October 3, 1881 - two weeks to the day after President Garfield's death. It was attended by 21 students, including one woman, Sarah Simonet of Croghan, N.Y., a full 38 years before the United States passed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
The program was two years in duration, with students attending lectures five hours per week for 21 weeks from October through March. Lectures were held at 8:00 p.m. each evening and on Saturday afternoons. Each term, students purchased lecture tickets for $15 - a total of $30 for the full session - and paid a $3 matriculation fee and a $10 graduation fee.
Just three professors were on the roster that first year, each of them among the catalysts for the new College. Dr. Mosher served as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica as well as the first President of the Faculty. Dr. Tucker was Professor of Chemistry and Secretary. Michaelis was Professor of Pharmacy.
All were respected in their fields. Harry Duryea, Class of 1886, recalled one of the highlights of his years at ACP as "the time that Professor Michaelis invented a new way of making chloroform and showed the class how he did it." The Michaelis process utilized acetate of lime to manufacture chloroform and was just one of several discoveries by the popular faculty member.
Dr. Tucker later became well-known as a toxicologist and expert witness in deaths involving poisoning. Dr. Mosher, after serving as a surgeon during the Civil War, was Medical Director of the State of New York and, prior to his appointment at ACP, had been selected by President Rutherford B. Hayes to investigate the yellow fever epidemic.
Initially, those applying to the College did not have to complete an entrance exam for admission. To earn their Ph.G. - Graduate in Pharmacy - students had to be 21 years of age, show good moral character, attend two full courses of lectures, including lab practice, and have four years of experience with a reputable pharmacist. In addition, they had to present an original thesis - on a topic such as "Opium, Its Preparation and Properties" - as well as pass an oral exam. Upon graduation, they legally were entitled to practice pharmacy.
In the spring of 1882, Albert R. Griffith, Gustave Kreutzer and John S. Phillips, who had entered the new College as seniors the previous fall, were the first to earn degrees from ACP. The first Commencement exercises were held in the amphitheater of Albany Medical College and "social festivity prevailed" at a dinner held after- wards at the Windsor Restaurant. By the 1882-83 session, the class size had grown to 32 students and there were 10 graduates, an upward trend that continued in the ensuing years.
In 1883, Dr. Mosher passed away and Dr. Tucker replaced him as President. Alfred Huested (known as "Old Daddy" to at least of few of the students) was hired as the new Professor of Pharmacy and Secretary.
The Catalog of 1883-84 notes that "it will probably not be long before a college diploma or license from an examining board will be required to practice," and, indeed, in 1884 the 107th Session of the New York State Legislature created the State Board of Pharmacy to regulate the practice of pharmacy statewide, except in New York City and Kings and Erie counties.
That same year, the Trustees of ACP established a Board of Examiners composed of Huested and several local pharmacists to handle the examination of candidates for graduation.
By 1885-86, entrance requirements also had grown stricter, with knowledge of the "English branches" required and a preliminary exam, or grammar school certificate admitting the student to high school, was necessary.
Though the students attended classes several evenings a week, usually after a full day working in a local drug store, life at ACP was not all work and no play.
Henry Baringer, Class of 1886, remembered that "half a dozen of us marched down to Zeller's for lager beer one hot spring evening and ran into Professor Michaelis sitting behind a tall one at one of the tables, which may have embarrassed us but seemingly did not fuss the professor."
Students also enjoyed the "big oyster stews at Keeler's on Green Street , a swell feed for 15 cents and no tips."
The Association of the Alumni of Albany College of Pharmacy was formed early on, in 1883, and included any faculty who were not alumni of the College. Dues were $1 per year for first three years only. An Annual Meeting was held on Commencement evening, with a banquet "attended by members of the Association and friends of both sexes," and a prize awarded for the best student thesis.
By 1885, an alumni pin fashioned of 14-carat gold and enamel could be purchased by graduates for a mere $5. Throughout the 1880s, Commencement moved from Agricultural Hall, at State and Lodge, to Jermain Hall, with entertainment that ran the gamut from music on Haines "celebrated upright piano" to selections from Gilbert and Sullivan's new comic opera, "The Mikado."
Commencement speakers varied as well. The first Commencement in 1882 featured Professor David Murray, Secretary of the Regents of the University of the State of New York, who told the graduates, "We want educated pharmacists. It is impossible that the duties involved in this business can be performed by ignorant and unskilled persons. For this reason I hailed the establishment of Albany College of Pharmacy."
In 1887, Prof. P.W. Bedford, a Professor at New York College of Pharmacy and Editor of the Pharmaceutical Record, gave this advice, in spite of the fact that ACP had been coeducational from its inception: "Marry early, it is not good for man to be alone, a home is the desire of all. And to the fair damsels before me, new homes cannot be organized without your consent, give your aid in this matter that the advice I have given the young men can be carried into effect."
By 1889, 22 graduates, including ACP's first international student, Huvand Hekimian of Asia Minor (the Asian part of modern Turkey), marched down the aisle to the strains of the "Golden Rod Polka" as ACP got ready to enter the 1890s.
ACP grew steadily throughout the 1890's. In contrast to its first graduating class of just three students in 1882, the Class of 1890 was the largest class yet – 69 students – with requirements for lecture and lab courses having more than doubled since 1881. The College's growth also led to new facilities including a reading room with current pharmaceutical journals, a Pharmacognosy room with almost 300 specimens of drugs and chemicals, and a Chemistry Laboratory.
ACP entered its second decade with an 1891 address given for the 11th Lecture Course by the President of the Faculty, Willis G. Tucker, M.D., Ph.D., who spoke about "Some Educational Problems" affecting the College.
"Teachers labor under disadvantages," he said. Chief among them was that "most pupils devote a considerable share of their time to their employers," as students apprenticed in local pharmacies and attended classes only in the evenings and on weekends.
It was a tough life. Reed Sauter, M.D., Class of 1891, remembered that he enjoyed ACP because he "could get away from the cleaning, sweeping, manufacture of soda water and ice cream, and numerous other duties that a drug clerk was made to perform." Arthur Davenport '96 recollected that he worked for $7 a week at a pharmacy in Watervliet all through his two years at the College.
In his 1891 presentation, Dr. Tucker went on to talk about the steady growth in both enrollment and curriculum. The Class of 1890 had been the largest class yet - 69 students - and requirements for lecture and lab courses had more than doubled since 1881.
The College was growing in other ways as well.
The Pharmaceutical Laboratory was refitted in 1891 and a Pharmacy Lab course was added with Frank P. Huested appointed as head in 1892. By 1899, the lab had outgrown its space and a new Pharmaceutical Lab was outfitted downtown at Maiden Lane and North Pearl Street. Each student had one day per week to practice their skills in the use of the balance, thermometer and hydrometer; the manufacture of tinctures, emulsions, pills, capsules, ointments and plasters; and the application of direct and steam heat.
Other new facilities included a reading room with current pharmaceutical journals, a Pharmacognosy room with almost 300 specimens of drugs and chemicals and a Chemistry Laboratory.
Seniors could take Practical Microscopy taught by Andrew McFarlane, M.D., of Albany Medical College for an additional $10 fee. Walton Sanderson '98 recalled that the Microscopial Laboratory was on the top floor adjoining the Dissecting Laboratory and the doors between them were always open as "it was a poor place for a weak stomach."
As the College changed from oral to written exams, a Quiz Class was added, at a cost of $5 for the session, so that faculty could test their students' progress on a regular basis.
New instructors also were added and by the 1895-96 session there were eight, including two alumni from the 1880s. Frank Richardson '84 began teaching Materia Medica in 1893 and became Director of the Pharmacy Lab in 1895. De Baun Van Aken '84, who was also president of the Alumni Association, was hired to teach Chemistry and Pharmacy and became Secretary of the school in 1896.
The 10th Commencement in 1891 was held at Jermain Hall. The entertainment featured "La Traviata," performed by Holdings Orchestra.
An annual Alumni Banquet was held on the evening of Commencement at local restaurants such as the Delavan House and Keeler's, with prices ranging from $1.50 to $3 a plate. Delicacies on the menu throughout the 1890s included old favorites such as green turtle soup, sweetbread croquettes, golden plover, terrapin a la Maryland, broiled quail and blue winged teal duck, followed by cigars (with $11 provided in the budget for this most-coveted postprandial treat).
There followed reports of several committees and the historian before the "necrology," a listing of deceased alumni, was read. The business portion of the evening closed with a substantial Alumni Prize of $20 awarded for the year's best student thesis, on topics that ranged from cod liver oil to rhubarb to belladonna. By the end of the decade, the prize money went to the student with the best exam as the Alumni Association felt it was "too difficult to choose" a winner.
The banquets also featured "a toast list of the first quality," and comic recitations by both alumni and faculty were washed down with copious quantities of Roman Punch. This popular 19th-century drink, a frothy concoction of champagne, rum, lemonade, orange juice and egg whites, was quite potent and undoubtedly added to the hilarity of the evening!
ACP wound up the decade on a more sober note.
The United States declared war on Spain in April 1898 following the sinking of the battleship U.S.S Maine in Havana, Cuba . Albany responded to the war with jingoistic fervor due to the fact that Albany Academy graduate Charles Dwight Sigsbee was in command of the ship at the time.
For ACP Professor Gustavus Michaelis, Ph.G., the war had a more direct connection. Albany Chemical Co., which Michaelis had founded in 1881, instituted round-the-clock shifts and doubled its production of a substance used to make gunpowder.
The short-lived Spanish-American War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. At the 1899 Alumni Association meeting, it was noted for the record that 12 members of the Association had fought in the war.
A New York State Law took effect in 1905 decreeing that “all candidates for license appearing before the Board of Examiners must be graduates of a college or School of Pharmacy." The law elevated the standing of pharmacy in the state and led to more stringent entry requirements at ACP. Change was also taking place on campus as ACP moved into the former Humane Society building on Eagle Street, across the street from the school's original home at Albany Medical College.
As ACP entered the new millennium, change was in the air.
The population of Albany in 1900 was a whopping 94,000 and growing larger each year, as was the number of enrollees at the College. By 1901, after 20 years of existence, ACP's graduating class had risen from three to 29.
The College continued to grow and change. Willis G. Tucker, M.D., Ph.D., now had been Dean for nearly 20 years, in addition to positions as Dean and Professor at Albany Medical College and his work as the Director of the Bureau of Chemistry for the State Board of Health.
With a ready-made cadre of pharmacy professors available from the ranks of the alumni, the College kept up the practice of bringing graduates on board to fill teaching positions. Theodore Bradley '95 was named Secretary of the school and, in 1902, Edwin Cunningham Hutman '91, became Director of the Pharmacy Lab. In the Pharmacy Lab, located on Maiden Lane and later on Howard Street , seniors learned compounding of prescriptions and practical dispensing.
There were now eight professors, up from the original three, and, although the Pharmacy program still was just two years in duration, students were required to attend six or more lectures each week for 25 weeks a year. Scholarly texts included Gray's Lesson's for Botany, the National Dispensatory for Materia Medica and Caspari's for Pharmacy.
Courses in Physics, taught by William L. Larkin '01, and Pharmaceutical Calculations were added to the curriculum. By the end of the decade, the faculty had increased to 11 and the 28-week academic year included courses in Latin, to assist in reading and writing prescriptions; Toxicology; Hygiene and First Aid to the Injured; Commercial Pharmacy; Inorganic Chemistry; Physiology and Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence.
Students were held more accountable than in the past; there was a preliminary entrance exam and optional weekly recitations were added to prepare for the new state licensing regulations that were scheduled to go into effect for pharmacists. The extra classes and requirements were reflected in the tuition, which rose to $70 a year with a $3 matriculation fee. As ACP entered its third decade, alumni numbered nearly 400 and continued to meet annually on Commencement evening. With the subject of women's rights much in the forefront across society, the ACP Alumni Association took a radical step in 1900 when it decided to "invite ladies" to its banquet. "We have several women graduates among us, paying dues, whom we have no right to debar from the benefits of membership" read the minutes of the annual meeting.
The banquet that year was held at the swanky Kenmore Hotel in Albany and for $2.50 a plate alumni feasted on an elegant repast that concluded with Punch au Kirsch, cigarettes and the exotic sounding Spongato, an Italian-style ice cream.
By 1901, the Alumni Association had deemed that inviting women was an "experiment so successful" that the men were advised to "come and bring your better half" every year. From that point on, both alumnae and spouses of alumni were invited to the banquet annually.
The pharmacy field was going through its own changes. In 1904, Chapter 554 of the New York State Law passed, decreeing that "all candidates for license appearing before the Board of Examiners must be graduates of a college or School of Pharmacy regulated by the Board of Regents in the State of NY, which requires 12 Regents counts for entrance." The law, which took effect in January 1905, "elevated very materially the standing of pharmacy in the state."
To attend ACP, students needed a Pharmacy Student Certificate issued by the New York State Education Department, though they no longer were required to have drug store experience upon entrance to the College. However, students still needed to get in a certain number of hours of hands-on experience before graduation, and diplomas were withheld until the College requirements were met.
There were changes in the workplace as well. Under the new law, pharmacists could not work more than 136 hours in two consecutive weeks or more than 10 hours a day (12 on Saturday). And, in 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act established the Food and Drug Administration, which had regulatory oversight of labels and packaging information for over-the-counter drugs, requiring pharmacists to accurately label patent medicines containing opium, morphine and other drugs.
In 1905, the first ACP Alumni Directory was published and pointed up the wide diversity in jobs held by graduates during the first 20 years of the College's existence. Some alumni returned to the College to teach, including Garret V. Dillenback '84, Ph.G., who came on board when Gustavus Michaelis, Ph.G., stepped down as an active Professor of Pharmacy in 1903.
Others, such as Birdsie L. Maltbie '85, President of the Maltbie Chemical Corporation of East Orange , N.J. , became wealthy owners of their own pharmaceutical companies.
Warren L. Bradt '89 was Secretary of the New York State Board of Pharmacy, Robert Lamb '89 was Superintendent of the State Hospital at Dannemora and Harry Mason '94 was editor of the Bulletin of Pharmacy.
Two years after leaving ACP, Burt Orrin Kinney founded his first pharmacy in 1903. The Gouverneur-based chain that bears his name now includes 80 employee-owned stores in New York and Vermont.
Still other graduates became "commercial travelers" or traveling salesmen, proprietors and physicians.
In 1907, ACP experienced a temporary lag in enrollment due to the more stringent entry requirements under the new law, but no one seemed unduly worried. A history of Union University written that year stated that the College's "chief need is a building of its own."
By 1909, that wish had come true. ACP moved into the former Humane Society Building on Eagle Street, right across the street from its former home at Albany Medical College. A four-story building proudly labeled with the College's name in large gold letters, the new facility provided lecture room for 100 and labs for Pharmacy, Microscopy and Pharmacognosy, although the Chemistry Lab still was located at AMC.
As the College began to spread its wings, the “teens” brought new narcotics legislation and Prohibition, two developments which had a far reaching impact on pharmacies throughout the country. The decade also saw a change in leadership as Dean Willis Tucker announced his retirement after nearly 40 years as the leader of the school. William Mansfield (pictured at right) was appointed as his successor.
The second decade of the new century was a time of both positive change and turmoil for ACP, the pharmacy profession and the world. At the same time the College began to spread its wings and really take off, the "teens" brought the beginning of World War I, as well as new narcotics legislation and Prohibition, both of which affected pharmacies throughout the country. And, after nearly 40 years, it was a decade that also brought a change in leadership for the College.
By 1910, ACP was firmly ensconced in its new home on Eagle Street, right across the street from its former quarters at Albany Medical College. But with booming enrollment, soon even the new quarters started to feel a bit pinched. In 1914, a plan was drawn up to increase the facilities by 50 percent, at an estimated cost of $6,000-$7,000. An alumni appeal added to the $4,000 the College had put aside for the project, which was completed in time for the 1916-17 academic year. With room for all of the labs in the expanded space, all of ACP's facilities were under one roof for the first time in its history.
After a few years in the Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Albany, graduation ceremonies were now held in Chancellor's Hall in the new State Education Building, completed in 1912. Students also attended special Wednesday evening lectures in the facility. Topics relating to public health and of interest to budding pharmacists were covered by representatives of the State and City Departments of Health and Education.
Students also were encouraged to take advantage of other local facilities, including the Museum of Natural History, which had spent "a million and a half dollars" to provide exhibits on Botany and Zoology; the State Library, "with nearly every periodical in the world;" and the YMCA, with access to billiards rooms, a bowling alley, pool, gym and "shower baths." All students were urged to join ACP's Physical Training class, which used the facilities at the Y.
Pupils were warned off less wholesome pursuits in a talk by Alfred Huested, M.D. Ph.G., Secretary of the College and a Botany Professor since 1883, who cautioned them about "the temptations of city life." These presumably included drinking "Albany's famous Beverwyck beer" or those manufactured by the Dobler or Hinckel breweries; all three were advertised in the school's new yearbook, The Alembic, when it made its debut in 1916.
The Alembic, named for a type of distilling apparatus used in pharmacy, was hailed by Dean Willis G. Tucker, M.D., Ph.D., as a way to "promote solidarity, true fellowship and real community of interests in the student body" as well as "legitimate college spirit."
Fraternities also made their first appearance at ACP during the decade. The Beta Delta Chapter of Kappa Psi was installed November 11, 1910, with 38 active members, including faculty, juniors and seniors. The members celebrated with a "smoker, at which was enjoyed punch, cigarettes and cigars. In addition, the frat held an annual banquet at Keeler's Hotel.
In the fall of 1916, the fraternity acquired new and spacious quarters located at 53 South Hawk Street. Roy Boles, Class of 1920, remembered that for a short while he lived in the house - until the bedbugs got to him. He relocated to a boarding house on Lancaster Street at a cost of $8 a week.
The first fraternity actually founded at ACP was the Alpha Chapter of Epsilon Phi, established March 17, 1917, under the leadership of Chapter President George Niles Hoffman and class valedictorian Ralph Young, who served as Treasurer. The frat even counted four women among its ranks as honorary members. Purely a local body, the fraternity opted to nationalize in 1931 and formed the foundation for the Alpha Theta Chapter of Phi Delta Chi at ACP.
The Beta Chapter of ACP's first sorority, Lambda Kappa Sigma, was chartered in 1919. Though the group was small, due to the limited number of women attending the College, with the help of the faculty wives they sponsored subscription dances and rush parties galore - from a Halloween party to an April Fool's Dance - at Wolfert's Roost and the Kenmore Hotel.
Although the number of women at ACP continued to climb each year, in 1916 their presence was unusual enough to warrant the following comment in the yearbook: "Near the door sitting up on that shelf known to all (because it was here that 'Doc' Huested placed our checks, bills and love letters) were three girls." The "girls" included sisters, Loretta and Sarah Graney, and "our beloved Ruth 'Bill' Tafft," presumably nicknamed for former President William Howard Taft who had vacated the White House in 1913.
Women began to make their mark at the College during the decade; with only seven girls in the Class of 1916, junior class officers included Betty Noonan as Vice President and Marguerite Rebecca Griffin as Secretary. The first female teacher, Rena Henault '13, was hired in 1917. She assisted Professor Edwin Hutman '91 in the Pharmacy Lab and taught Microscopy and Pharmacognosy with Dr. T.W. Jenkins. Katherine Glavin, who worked at the College for decades, joined the staff as Registrar in 1918.
As the College grew, sports also were added. A basketball team was formed, with 16 men practicing on the courts at the YMCA. The team only lost one game - to Albany Law School - in the 1916-17 season. The Athletic Association kicked off in 1917 with Dr. Huested as Honorary President.
The big social event of the year for all students was the Pharmacy Ball thrown by the junior class, which took place at the Ten Eyck Hotel, an up-to-date facility with a restaurant, cafeteria and Oyster Bar. In this classy establishment that sponsored the "tea dansants" and "supper dances" that were all the rage in the teens, ACP revelers tripped the light fantastic till the wee hours to the music of Zita's Orchestra.
But in addition to schoolwork and the pursuit of fun, more serious themes began to surface in life at ACP. As the country became more and more embroiled in the events leading up to World War I and the debate on whether or not the nation would remain neutral, students weighed in with their opinions on the situation.
"Should the United States be called upon to defend the rights so gloriously attained by our forefathers the flame of patriotism would burst forth in the hearts of the pharmacists and they would enlist," wrote Raymond Earl Cressler '18. "They would not shoulder a musket, but they would labor heroically carrying out the instructions of the surgeon to the minutest detail."
When America entered World War I in 1917, 10,000 Albany men registered for the draft, including many students and alumni of ACP. Eleven members of the Class of 1918 enlisted, as well as four faculty members. The Class of 1919 had 12 of its number fighting and seven members in the Student Army Training Corps. So many of the 48 members of the Epsilon Phi fraternity entered the service that activities were suspended for the next five years.
In addition, out of 927 members, the ACP Alumni Association had 124 in service, from Lt. Nathan Garnsey '91, to Ford Alysworth '20. Of those, six were killed and one wounded. The AAACP annual banquets now featured patriotic songs such as "America I Love You" in place of the raucous toasts of old.
Part of this was due to the fact that many states, including New York, had enacted Prohibition laws as early as 1914. In 1919, when the war ended, soldiers returned to a country that had just passed the 18th Amendment, a nationwide ban of manufacture, sale or transportation of alcohol.
Prohibition meant many changes for pharmacists, as it led many people to drink "legitimate" alcohol - patent medicines and medical alcohol available by prescription only. According to Albany historian John McEneny, "the druggists of the city dispensed medicinal alcohol at an alarming rate, both over the counter and out the back door."
A writer in The Alembic concluded that "the druggist is the only business man with whom legislation concerns itself to a greater extent than the liquor dealer." One consequence of Prohibition was a rise in the number of soda fountains in pharmacies, which became possible with the introduction of the counter-service fountain in 1903. By 1910, there were more than 100,000 soda fountains across the United States, many serving food as well as sodas and ice cream. Soda fountains provided a socially acceptable alternative to bars and saloons, and the "soda pop" they dispensed was thought to be the height of health and modernity. The back of ACP's yearbook advertised the soda fountain and drug store fixtures that were now de rigueur for the modern pharmacy.
The pharmacy profession was changing in other ways as well. The more stringent requirements and regulations for pharmacists under the new State Pharmacy Law and the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 meant big changes for druggists. Passed under President Wilson, the Act forbade the sale of substantial doses of opiates or cocaine except by licensed doctors and pharmacies, and required prescriptions for all products exceeding allowable limits. It also required pharmacists who dispensed "narcotics" to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, pay a tax and keep records of the drugs they dispensed.
Boles, who started his first job at a pharmacy in Chestertown in his graduation year of 1920, remembered people lining up at the door in the morning with their prescriptions for morphine and laudanum. During Prohibition, Boles recalled a physician sitting in the local American Legion writing prescriptions for "medicinal" alcohol for his friends.
The new laws may have contributed to the reaction of Dean Tucker, who wrote in 1917:
"Not many years ago in this state any person might keep a drugstore, there was no licensing of pharmacists, and attendance upon colleges of pharmacy was entirely volitional, for their diplomas conferred no special privileges and were not essential to the securing of a license to practice. But all this is changed and the would-be pharmacist nowadays must pass not only such preliminary examinations as are necessary to obtain his entrance certificate and the various examinations of the school, but also a State Board examination which permits him to do business.
"In our educational affairs and in the regulation of the professions two dangers threaten us: too much control by the State, whose right to control is conceded, and too much interference by voluntary associations and endowed corporations possessing no right of control whatever and having no jurisdiction at all."
By 1918, after nearly 40 years at the helm of ACP, Dean Tucker was ready to call it quits, though he remained onboard as Honorary Dean.
William Mansfield, Ph.G., Pharm.D., M.A., was appointed as the new leader of the school. An expert botanist and a lover of nature, Dr. Mansfield had previously taught at New York College of Pharmacy and was the author of a number of textbooks on medicinal plants and botany and a frequent contributor to pharmaceutical journals.
At the same time, the College reorganized, adding faculty and courses and lengthening its hours. For the first time three degrees were offered: a Ph.G. (Graduate in Pharmacy) in two years, Ph.C. (Pharmaceutical Chemist) in three years and a short-lived Bachelor of Science in four years. By the 1919-20 academic year, perhaps due to the war, the latter already had disappeared from the Catalog.
Classes including Vegetable Histology, Chemical and Microscopic Urine Analysis, Bacteriology, English, French and Household Chemistry (food, medicine and cleaning products) were added to the curriculum.
With pharmacy experience no longer a prerequisite for admission and students able to count their college courses as experience, candidates for a pharmacy degree were freed from working in drug stores for countless hours each week. For the first time, classes were held in the daytime, as well as in the evenings and summers.
And, though the war radically decreased the number of attendees, as soon as the soldiers were home again the numbers started to climb. After decreasing from 40 graduates in 1918 to 20 in 1919, by the time the 1919-20 academic year rolled around, the count had risen to 48 seniors. As the decade came to a close, ACP was, once again, short on space.
The 1920s were a landmark decade in ACP history as, in 1926, the school began construction on its own building. The three-story building on New Scotland Avenue (now called the Francis J. O’Brien Building) accommodated 500 students and contained six labs, a model pharmacy, an auditorium, a library, a gym, and an alumni room. The decade also saw the pharmacy program expanded to three years and the addition of many extracurricular activities including fraternities, clubs, and sports.
The 1920s were a landmark decade in the history of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as, in 1927, the school finally gained a brand new home on New Scotland Avenue . At the same time, the Graduate in Pharmacy course was expanded to three years and many extracurricular activities were added for students, making ACP seem like a "real" college for the first time.
The decade got off to an auspicious start with the graduation of future dean Francis J. O'Brien in 1920. That graduation ceremony included four flower girls and a male cheerleader, Gardner Davis '21, who led the crowd in a series of rousing cheers to their new alma mater. The ACP Alumni Association, which took part in the festivities, urged every alumnus to contribute and raise funds to erect a new building, and convened a Tablet Committee to raise funds for a memorial to honor those alumni who had died in World War I.
O'Brien, who was "quiet but well-liked by his classmates" according to his friend Ray Boles '20, was hired on as an Instructor in Pharmacy and Mathematics immediately after graduation. In the 1920-21 academic year, he began to make the transition from popular student to popular teacher and, by 1925, had been promoted to Assistant Professor.
The College celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1921 and ceremonies were held at Chancellor's Hall in the State Education Building. Two of the original founders of ACP were still alive to mark the big event; Willis Gaylord Tucker, who had stepped down as dean in 1918 when Dean William Mansfield arrived, and Gustavus Michaelis, who still served on the Board of Trustees. Alumni and fraternal organizations celebrated in style with dances at local hotels.
By 1922, ACP boasted three fraternities and a sorority, Lambda Kappa Sigma. After a brief hiatus during and after World War I, the Alpha chapter of the Epsilon Phi fraternity had been rejuvenated that year by Frank A. Squires '22, who joined the College as a faculty member after graduation and continued to be a guiding force for the frat.
The Beta chapter of Rho Pi Phi Fraternity (known as "Ropes") was founded at ACP in 1921 by a "progressive group of Jewish students." Brothers enjoyed "smokers," theater parties, sleigh rides and a pledge dance held at Temple Beth Emeth, as well as an Annual Dinner Dance at the new Hotel Hampton. The first Beta Chapter House opened in 1929 at 185 Warren St. with 13 "fraters" in residence.
Kappa Psi moved into its own chapter house at 50 Jay St. in 1924 and hosted social functions both at the house and the Albany Yacht Club, where brothers and their guests danced to the tunes of Eddie's Melody Boys in one of the oldest yacht clubs in the nation.
Students without frat housing lodged off-campus in boarding houses such as the Marcona, which advertised "furnished rooms and excellent board" for about $8 a week. Many dined at local establishments like the Hudson Restaurant, where they could get the "best 40-cent dinner in town," or the Oriental Occidental Restaurant on State Street , which offered American or Chinese entrees for 75 cents.
All of the fraternities, as well as the so-called "neutrals" who did not belong to any fraternal groups, competed in the Inter-Class Field Meet when it debuted in 1921. This annual competition among the classes featured track events at Ridgefield Park, baseball at Beverwyck Park and the prize of a silver cup to the class earning the highest point score. In the summer of 2005, Dan Spadaro '23 still remembered his win in the 440-yard relay, but the festivities also included more comical competitions including a three-legged and fat men's race.
Bowling and basketball already were established at the school, but by 1922 they had been organized into "real teams" with scheduled games and players specially selected to represent the College. Lacking a gymnasium in the Eagle Street building, the basketball team played in Albany High's gym under a coach from the State College. Outfitted in maroon and white, they competed against Albany Law, the YMCA and Rensselaer High. The bowling teams, managed by Professor Seneca Smith, used the YMCA lanes until that building burned down in 1925, when they made the switch to the Palm Garden Alleys.
The number of students at the College continued to climb each year, swelled by the burgeoning ranks of veterans heading back to ACP to complete their studies after the war. New enrollees climbed from 20 for the Class of 1919 to 48 in 1920 and 58 in 1921. Registration had to be closed at 64 students in July 1922 as there was not enough room for all the applicants.
After just 13 years, the College already was outgrowing its second home in the old Humane Society building on Eagle Street.
With eager students waiting in the wings, ACP could afford to raise its entrance requirements. Students entering in September 1923 for a Ph.G. degree needed to have three years of high school or 54 Regents counts, while those earning a Graduate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree (Ph.C.) needed four years. Tuition was raised from $200 to $230-$250 a year, with books averaging $45 for the first year alone.
As the student body grew, so did the number of non-academic activities. Physical Training, now compulsory under New York State law, was held at the YMCA under director Milton Howard and included calisthenics, jumping, chinning and running. The activities fee of $27 per year included both physical education and Y privileges, including gym shoes, towels and bowling; a yearbook; the junior prom and other dances and free admission to basketball games.
The Orchestra and Glee Club was founded in 1923 and featured violins and a cello, saxophone, piano, drum and three banjos. Through the efforts of Professor O'Brien and Dean Mansfield, the group made its debut at the ACP Christmas party that December. The concert was broadcast "for the benefit of the nation" via WGY in Schenectady and WHAZ in Troy, stations on the air in the very early days of radio.
The orchestra, billed as the "last word in syncopation and jazz," split off from the singing Glee Club the following year, with the Orchestra continuing to entertain at dances under the direction of Professor Smith. They played at the Commencement Prom, held at Vicentian Hall "on the line of the Pine Hills trolley cars," and ACP revelers tripped the light fantastic to renditions of the Charleston and Black Bottom that were all the rage.
By 1925 a swim team was established at ACP as many young men were eager to emulate Olympic gold medalist Johnny Weissmuller, who had broken three swimming records in the 1924 Olympics. The team practiced at Public Bath Number 3 every Wednesday evening and grew until members numbered in the twenties. Life Saving classes were offered as well. As the yearbook noted, "No Weissmullers have been produced as yet, but time will tell."
A Student Government was inaugurated that year as well, consisting of a General Committee and two Executive Committees representing the juniors and seniors, still the only two classes at ACP. Chief among their duties was coordination of the Senior Hop and the Junior Prom.
After a hiatus of a few years, the yearbook, formerly known as The Alembic, was revived in 1923 as The Pharmakon. Renamed The Alembic Pharmakon the following year, its pages are filled with candid photos of young women with bobbed hair, cloche hats, raccoon coats and short "flapper" dresses. Women students, who had gained the right to vote in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, were busy showing off their new-found freedom and increasingly involved in the life and governance of the College.
Meanwhile, another feature of the "Jazz Age," Prohibition, ground on throughout the decade. It has been estimated that sales of "medicinal" alcohol prescribed by doctors and hospitals doubled in the United States between 1923 and 1931. In Albany, speakeasies proliferated and many drugstores clandestinely sold liquor.
Harold McBride '24 noted in the yearbook that "because the laws of the U.S have placed upon the pharmacist the responsibility of dispensing alcoholic liquors upon physician's prescriptions the exalted position of the druggist has taken a great slump and a great stench has arisen from the profession."
He went on to note that "pharmaceutical associations are waging a strenuous campaign to place the profession back on its pre-Prohibition plane" and that "many colleges of pharmacy require their students to take a pledge to take a stand against alcohol."
In spite of the controversy, or perhaps because of it, students continued to flock to the College and in September 1925, ACP once again had to limit its class size due to cramped quarters. According to the 1926 Catalog, the demand for licensed and junior pharmacists far exceeded the supply and larger salaries were being paid.
The "outlook [has] never [been] brighter," proclaimed the College.
Though ACP was able to lease space at St. Sophia Hall on Lancaster Street for overflow classes, it was clear that this stopgap measure would not hold for long. Students would "miss the lecture halls, laboratories, corridors and smoking room" on Eagle Street, but they were clearly ready for a change.
By November 1925, at the request of Sen. William T. Byrne and Charles Gibson, President of the College's Board of Trustees, the Albany County supervisors deeded to ACP a plot of land on New Scotland Avenue for the construction of a new College of Pharmacy. The land, located across from Albany Hospital, originally had been the site of a farm for the Albany Alms House.
The new building, designed by architect Alex Selkirk, was planned as three stories of tapestry brick and limestone for a cost of $300,000, and would accommodate 500 students. Ground was broken May 13, 1926, with the Honorable John Boyd Thacher, Mayor of Albany, presiding. The cornerstone was set by Dr. Charles H. Johnson, Grand Senior Warden of the State Grand Lodge of Masons.
Members of the Class of 1926 resolved that each graduate would pay the sum of $100 to the Permanent Equipment fund to be used for the facility.
Occupied for the first time in the fall of 1927, the new edifice included labs for Pharmacy, Botany and Materia Medica, Pharmacognosy, Histology and Chemistry; a model pharmacy; an auditorium for 500; a photography room; a library; a gym, complete with showers and locker room; an alumni room and a "co-ed's" lounge, furnished with stylish wicker furniture.
The building wasn't the only new thing that debuted that fall.
A three-year College course of study for the Ph.G. degree kicked off in 1927 with students attending classes for 32 weeks, 39 hours per week each year, for a total of 2,656 hours of instruction. Students completed 1,120 hours of lab work in Botany and Materia Medica, Chemistry and Pharmacy. Those completing university coursework for the Ph.C. degree also took courses in German, Civics, English, Math and Bacteriology. O'Brien was among the early graduates of the revamped program, earning his Ph.C. in 1929.
Students also got a chance to practice for their new professions in the Model Pharmacy that was incorporated into the College. The "Union Pharmacy" was equipped with all of the latest features and included a soda fountain, cash registers and a complete line of drugs and chemicals.
By 1929, students were able to take a course in Operative Pharmacy Theory and had opportunities to learn about soda fountain maintenance, salesmanship, window displays and arrangement of stock under the guidance of the Professor of Economics. Each graduate wanted to be, as the yearbook put it, "Mr. Modern druggist, with a well-lit store, appealing and attractive window displays, an elaborate display of merchandise and sanitary white coats bedecking his clerks; all symbolic of modern needs."
With new facilities for meetings and practices, extracurricular activities continued to be added each year and by 1928 included a debating society, a drama club, a girls' chorus and a college newspaper, the Mortar and Pestle, published biweekly under the supervision of Professor Edwin Hutman.
The spacious auditorium was used for screenings of "moving pictures" filmed during ACP's annual field day and Commencement, and for "radio parties," which capitalized on the craze that swept the nation beginning with the first public radio broadcast in the early '20s. The Debate Club took to the stage to spar over topics such as co-education, fraternities and capital punishment, with the first inter-class debate taking sides on "Active Military Intervention by the U.S. in Nicaragua."
Sports blossomed at the College as well, with "an athletic council, coaches and adequate facilities as much a part of the new institution as microscopes and test tubes." The baseball team had snappy new uniforms and a cross-country team was organized in 1928. Tennis matches took place at Washington and Ridgefield Parks or on Professor Smith's private court, "one of the best in the Capital District."
The Rifle Team met every Thursday afternoon at Troop B Armory, just down New Scotland Avenue . Under the eagle eye of Professor Frank Squires, a team of 22 young men competed against RPI and Albany High, among others. Quoits, a game similar to horseshoes that was popular in America during the mid-'20s, also was enjoyed at ACP.
Fans went even farther afield to cheer on the ACP teams. In 1928, a busload of students sprang for $5 tickets and headed to New York City to watch the basketball team beat Columbia University , celebrating afterwards with dinner at Beefsteak Charlies'. The Mortar and Pestle even printed pre-approved cheers for the event, including the stirring "Red, White, Pharmacy, Fight."
Both faculty and students took advantage of other off-campus opportunities as well. ACP delegates, along with several alumni, attended the annual meetings of the New York Pharmaceutical Association at locales such as the Alexandria Bay Hotel in the Thousand Islands and the United States Hotel in Saratoga Springs.
But just when things seemed to be taking off for the College and its graduates, fate intervened in the form of the Stock Market Crash in October 1929. The Great Depression that followed had serious repercussions for student enrollment as well as for job availability and wages for pharmacists throughout the nation as ACP entered its next decade.
In fall 1937, ACP introduced a four-year Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in an effort to re-establish the professionalism and prestige of the pharmacy degree, which had been tarnished during Prohibition. And in an effort to preserve the history of pharmacy, the College acquired the contents of the O.B. Throop Drugstore. First established in 1800, the store was moved to ACP “lock, stock and barrel” in 1938 and reassembled as a pharmacy museum on the campus where it remains today.
ACP entered the 1930s still reeling from the stock market crash of 1929, which had serious repercussions for the school, its students and its graduates. With enrollment down and tuition too steep for many attendees, the College struggled to attract new students. By the fall of 1937, ACP had developed a four-year Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, hoping to increase the professionalism and prestige of the pharmacy degree, which had suffered greatly during Prohibition.
In 1930, the population of Albany was 127,000, with 2,000-4,000 Albanians out of work and roughly 25 percent of the population looking for jobs. At ACP, the numbers mirrored what was going on all over the country. There were 150 graduates in 1928, but only 54 students enrolled for the 1931-32 session. By graduation time, the Class of '32 had dropped to only 38 members.
After the move to the New Scotland Avenue building in 1927, tuition had been raised from $100 for the Ph.G. and $125 for the Ph.C. to $250 and $300, respectively, a substantial jump. Books averaged about $52 to $65 depending on the program. But higher tuition meant fewer students could afford to attend and the College was struggling.
A 1930 letter written by the ACP Alumni Association Board to Warren Bradt, President of the ACP Board of Trustees, discussed the financial affairs of the College and asked that the Board devise a way to raise funds to pay off College debt and augment the endowment.
"Despite the unemployment problem now facing the country, our 1930 grads are actively engaged in pharmaceutical pursuits," said an article in the Mortar and Pestle. But it wasn't easy.
During the 1920s, Ray Boles '20 had been making $3,500 a year as partner in a Chestertown, N.Y., drugstore that sold cosmetics, Adirondack souvenirs and ice cream in addition to "prescriptions that cost $2 to $3 tops." Boles rose at 6:00 a.m. every day to make ice cream, crank- ing out batches every 10 minutes to make up to 40 gallons a day. He put in 14 hour days and worked every holiday, including Christmas. In spite of his diligence, his salary took a nosedive during the Depression, plummeting by $1,000 a year.And Boles was one of the lucky ones.
An article in the Mortar and Pestle claimed that "many top notch students are working for $1,200 year." In the same article, pharmacy was called the "most unrenumerative profession in the U.S. ," by Charles A. Smullen, a special investigator working for the Pharmacy Bureau of Research, who visited 3,500 retail druggists in 1930.
Mortar and Pestle stated that, although the profession would "never reach a peak of prosperity as a man who spends 3-4 years in College should receive a decent minimum wage."
The grim financial picture forced many Albany residents to seek an escape from reality.
It was the golden era of movies; the Palace Theater, one of 20 movie theaters in the city, opened in 1931 with seating for 2,800. Works Progress Administration, created in 1935 by President Roosevelt, was responsible for a tremendous upsurge in recreational facilities in Albany. Between 1936 and 1939, 25 public parks, skating rinks, a golf course, Bleeker Stadium, Lincoln Park Pool and several public baths were constructed, many of which were utilized by ACP students for school sports and in their leisure time.
There was plenty to do both on- and off-campus. The activity fee of $35 covered clubs, sports and three class dances: the Freshman and Senior Hops and the Junior Prom. Under the direction of William Haber, the College Orchestra, a.k.a. "Banjo Bill and his Pill Rollers," provided the music for post-basketball game dances in the school's auditorium. Decked out with colored lights and maroon and white streamers, the room was filled with students swaying to the strains of the latest foxtrots and songs such as "Collegiate Sam" and "Making Whoopee."
The first Press Club Whirl, a fundraising dance held in 1931, benefited a new library at the College as well the school's other literary endeavors, Mortar and Pestle and Alembic Pharmakon .
In their free time, students dined on "hamburg steaks at The Wagon," "almost smothered from tobacco smoke" at Proctor's Theater, dated "St. Rose girls," "sniffed the lilacs in back of Bender Lab," took the "night boat" from Albany to New York City and admired "the observatory in the moonlight" (Dudley Observatory, founded 1852, was then located across from the College).
Beginning in the fall of 1930, the new Student Council, consisting of Dean Mansfield and two representatives from each Ph.C. and Ph.G. class, had the responsibility for evaluating all "social, athletic and literary endeavors" and assigning funds to each. Some, including track, cross country and the "boy's swim team," were discontinued due to lack of interest while others, such as handball, were added. Wildly popular in the New York City area, where thousands of courts were constructed in the five boroughs during the 1930s, handball was introduced to the College by Willard Canfield '32. A court for single-wall handball was created in the gym and a whopping 50 students joined the team.
The men's basketball, rifle and tennis teams continued to compete while the "maroon and white sluggers" used the fields at the "Lincoln Bowl" and Ridgefield Park.
One of the school's oldest and most popular organized sports was bowling. Even after 10 years, students and faculty alike still gathered at Schade's Bowling Academy to watch "Professor [Francis] O'Brien, with that big cigar in his mouth, throw his famous snake snap." Toward the end of the decade, as the number of women students began to increase, they also participated in bowling and ACP took up a full eight lanes.
Some "girls-only" activities were voted in as well, most notably tennis and swimming. Formed in 1933, the swim team met Tuesday evenings at the YWCA, though the yearbook noted "no channel swimmers yet." Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 became the first American woman to swim the English Channel, had an enormous influence on women throughout the country. Citing her as their inspiration, more than 60,000 women earned American Red Cross swimming certificates during the 1920s alone.
In addition to doling out funds for activities, the Student Council also voted on other issues, including protocol for the wearing of the mandatory "garnet and white" caps or "beanies" worn by each freshman. After much debate it was decided that "freshmen be permitted to remove their caps in lectures, recitations and labs but must [keep them] with them and present [them] upon request to upperclassmen."
The fortunes of the fraternities at the school continued to wax and wane throughout the decade, with some becoming inactive and then revitalized depending on membership numbers. The Alpha Theta chapter of Phi Delta Chi formed at ACP on April 13, 1931, with 21 charter members. The chapter grew out of the Alpha Chapter of Epsilon Phi, which had been established at ACP in 1917 but wished to nationalize. By 1936, the group was known as Phi Delta Chi Pharmaceutical and Chemical Fraternity.
Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity opened a new house on Mercer Street in 1931 and, by 1936, had another fraternity house in the residential section of Madison Avenue. The "Ropes" had a busy schedule with an annual roast in the Heldeberg Mountains and dances held in the Rainbow Room of the Kenmore Hotel or aboard the Paradise, a boat moored in the Hudson River at Troy.
An Interfraternity Smoker sponsored by all three frats was held in 1938 "for probably the first time in the school's history." There was some talk of inviting Lambda Kappa Sigma Sorority, according to the yearbook, "but it was felt it was 'for men only' and obviously it would be a bit inappropriate." With only a few members, the school's sole sorority sponsored more sedate activities such as Bridge Teas and Halloween and Christmas dances. Whether they lived in a fraternity house or not, with no residential facilities on campus most students at ACP rented rooms in the city of Albany. A 1934 Mortar and Pestle survey showed 49.9 percent of students rooming and boarding in Albany and stated that 2-6 students living together could get by on $5 a week.
"Club Woodlawn," right in the neighborhood, was one such communal domicile that was the site of lots of activities and parties. When funds allowed, students congregated at the Fountain Grille and Tap Room on New Scotland Avenue or the Boulevard Cafeteria on Central Avenue to grab a bite to eat.
Especially during the Depression, which dragged on until 1941 and the start of World War II, many students could not afford to rent in Albany and commuted in each day, sometimes from quite a distance.
When Russell Denegar '43 began classes at ACP in 1938, he commuted from Germantown, N.Y., by train. After arriving at Union Station in Albany, Denegar, who later became Associate Dean of the College, hopped a trolley on Broadway and rode up Madison Avenue to connect with the New Scotland Avenue bus. Classmates Walter Henning of Rhinebeck and Allan MacCollam of Kingston took the same train, though MacCollam had to take a ferry across the Hudson to catch it!
In spite of his struggle to pay his tuition, Denegar remembered that "the College was as bad off financially as myself and was reluctant to dismiss anyone as long as there was hope that payment might be forthcoming." Although he was sure others were in the same predicament, it seemed to him that Miss Glavin, ACP's longtime Registrar who had been with the College since 1918, "spent most of her time pursuing me."
In addition to the Depression, Prohibition, until its repeal in 1933, was another issue that continued to affect ACP.
In an Alembic Pharmakon survey, 54 of 55 polled students did not approve of Prohibition, which had seriously tarnished the image of pharmacists. Because they were legally allowed to dispense alcohol, "pharmacy has attracted a large amount of pseudo-pharmacists, many of whom were former liquor dealers" and a "stigma rests upon the entire profession," said a 1931 Mortar and Pestle article. Another article that same year claimed "a pharmacist is nothing more than a dignified bootlegger."
For this reason, both students and faculty strongly felt that standards must be raised and began to advocate for a four-year Bachelor of Science degree that "would go a long way toward giving pharmacy the respect it should have."
By 1932, 38 states had compulsory four-year courses for pharmacy colleges. ACP followed suit in 1937 and introduced its own B.S. that fall, creating a sophomore class for the first time in the school's history. The B.S. offered more liberal arts and sciences with history, English, psychology and sociology in the curriculum in addition to comparative anatomy and zoology. It also fully met the requirements for pre-med, pre-osteopathic and pre-law certificates, and strove to eliminate the surplus of pharmacists with stricter entrance requirements.
The courses of instruction in the new program fell into the departments of Pharmacy, Material Medica, Chemistry and Economics, which included offerings such as pharmaceutical sign writing, bookkeeping and commercial law. Courses in pharmaceutical and scientific German, political science and mathematics also were added.
1937 also brought some sad changes for ACP, most notably the death of longtime faculty member Edwin Cunningham Hutman '91. "Prof" Hutman taught at the College for 35 years and, according to the yearbook, died "in the saddle" while proctoring an exam.
Hutman's death meant the temporary demise of Mortar and Pestle, as he had been the paper's long-time advisor. It was replaced for a short time in the late '30s by the Dame Rumour, "published biweekly by the co-eds of ACP-Union" and reflective of the burgeoning number of young women at the school. In the 1938-39 academic year, the Catalog noted that "girls who do not wish to enter the field of retail pharmacy may prepare themselves for the position of hospital pharmacist" and a Clinical Laboratory Technician track was added to the Pharmacy program, the precursor of the Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology that came in the 1940s.
The program's curriculum included sterilization and media preparation, pathology, histologic technique, bacteriology, serology, biological chemistry, urine analysis and hematology in addition to the regular pharmacy subjects. Graduates of the program, conducted largely at neighboring Bender Laboratory, earned the B.S. in Pharmacy and, upon the completion of laboratory and practical hospital work, a Clinical Laboratory Technician Certificate.
The late '30s in general were a time of few activities, clubs and sports at ACP. Before it stopped publishing, articles in Mortar and Pestle decried the lack of school spirit. Even the class banquets were not well attended, perhaps due to the cost. The activity fee was lowered from $35 to $20, probably due to the decrease in services and the financial affairs of many students.
At ACP, the Orchestra, Glee Club, tennis and swimming all bit the dust during the decade and were replaced by pastimes such as the Camera Club, Student Pharmaceutical Association and yearly trips to the Eli Lilly plant in Indianapolis. By 1939, even handball was gone, replaced by ping pong, made newly popular with the formation of the U.S. Table Tennis Association in 1935. Students played in the boys' lounge in between classes, competing against top players Arnold Shapiro and Leo Katzman.
"Everyone goes down to smoking room to watch ping pong and play the radio-victrola," said the yearbook.
One exciting new addition to the school in 1938 was the historic O.B. Throop Drugstore, which was moved "lock, stock and barrel" from Schoharie, N.Y. , and reassembled at ACP as a pharmacy museum. Located near the modern Union Pharmacy at the College, it occasioned one writer to note that "two flights of stairs span more than a century of the art of pharmacy." The old store, established in 1800 by Jabez W. Throop, had colorful show globes in the windows and was stocked with apothecary jars and drawers filled with remedies like bloodroot and boneset. The '30s also brought several of ACP's alumni into influential new roles.
Francis O'Brien '20, who had received his Master's degree in 1936 and was working on a Ph.D. at Fordham University, was promoted to head of the Department of Pharmacy in 1939 and eventually became ACP's Dean in 1943. The College's 1927 building now bears O'Brien's name.
Also in 1939, long-time Board of Trustees Chair Warren Lansing Bradt died and was succeeded by Wardle had been on the ACP Board since 1914 and also served on the State Board of Pharmacy and as President of the New York State Pharmaceutical Association. ACP's 1956 Wardle Wing honored his decades of service to the Board.
Another ACP graduate made his mark not only on the College, but on the world as well. Rudolph Blythe '31 established the first pharmaceutical laboratory in the United States during a long career with Smith, Kline and French. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on the time-release capsule. In a classic understatement, the 1931 yearbook noted, "Rudy has a future if he keeps on at his present rate." In 2000, ACP's administrative and library wing was dedicated to Dr. Blythe, who served as a Trustee of the school. Dr. Blythe died in July 2005 at the age of 95.
Arthur S. Wardle '00. As ACP entered its next decade, some of the College's most influential leaders were sowing the seeds that would shape the school's destiny for years to come.
In 1943, Francis J. O’Brien ’20 replaced William Mansfield as dean of the College and was tasked with the difficult job of leading the school during World War II. By 1944, 42 students had enlisted in the service and concerns arose about the future viability of the College. The end of the war and the subsequent introduction of the G.I. bill combined to help steady the school as enrollment shot up in the immediate post-war years.
The 1940s at ACP began much as the 1930s had, with the College struggling to keep its head above water due to the corrosive effects of the Great Depression. All that changed on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II.
The departure of many of its young men to enlist in the armed forces and the influx of young women into the new Medical Technology program irrevocably changed the face of ACP during the decade.
In May 1941, the “Playboys of ’41,” an all-male class of 24 students, graduated as the first class to complete the new four-year Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. Little were they to know that theirs would be the last four-ear class for some time to come as ACP adapted to a world at war.
On December 7, 1941, Jimmy Dorsey and his band were advertised at Albany’s Palace Theatre and Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator was being shown at the Leland. The Christmas tree in Capitol Park was to be lit the following day in the traditional kickoff to the city’s holiday season.
That afternoon, Russ Denegar ’43 was alone in his apartment near Washington Park, studying for an exam and listening to the radio. Suddenly the music was interrupted by a news bulletin about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and he “knew that the world was really turned upside down.” The war was to change everything.
The next evening, the ACP junior and a friend went to visit his favorite professor, Francis O’Brien, Ph.D., to ask for advice. “Stay in college and try to graduate before enlisting,” Dr. O’Brien told them.
As blackouts and air raid drills commenced in Albany, Pathe newsreels screened in the theaters and Civil Defense wardens roamed the streets in pancake helmets, ACP made plans of its own to deal with the effects of the war.
“The Class of 1942 will depart from the comparative tranquility of academic life and enter a world at war,” said the yearbook. “Our lot will not be an easy one … but in our hearts is the fervent prayer that our specialized training will enable each of us to contribute in some small degree to the common cause of humanity not only ‘for the duration’ for but the years to follow.”
Even as the Class of ’42 graduated, the student body was readying itself for big changes.
An essay in the yearbook estimated that 15,000 pharmacists or more would be needed to serve the expanded army and navy, with additional responsibility thrust upon pharmacists by the withdrawal of approximately 40,000 doctors, 13,000 dentists and 35,000 nurses from civilian practice.
“Pharmacists will be called on to dispense more than ever as doctors at home become increasingly busy,” it went on to say, and would be further challenged by an “acute shortage of drugs … and an increased call upon them for medical advice.”
Dean William Mansfield made the decision to accelerate classes so that students could finish their schooling before going off to war. Classes were scheduled during the summer and commenced in June 1942, after only a two-week break, thus enabling the junior class to graduate in January rather than June 1943.
“Diminishing classes and the cessation of summer vacations definitely brought the war closer to all of us,” said Denegar.
The decision had repercussions, not only for students’ workloads, but also their finances.
With virtually no summer vacation to get a job and many places of employment closed due to the war, Denegar found himself in a tricky financial situation. He gave up his apartment in Albany and began the long commute from his home in Germantown via train and trolley. Fortunately, a new government loan program helped with tuition and he continued with his job washing test tubes and filling bottles in the ACP lab.
The Class of ’43 became the first to graduate in January of that year under the new accelerated program, with the valedictory address delivered by Richard Phalen, tagged “Dr. Huer” by his classmates because of his resemblance to a character in the Buck Rogers comics. The Alumni Reunion Banquet also was “accelerated” and took place at the Ten Eyck Hotel on January 18 at 8:30 p.m., Eastern War Time.
In spite of the new schedule, many students did not have a chance to complete their coursework, though some joined the Army Reserve Corps in the hopes that they would be able to finish up before being called into active service. Private Carl Bevilacqua, who started out with the Class of ’44, was one of the first pharmacy students in the state called to the service of his country. Soon after, 13 other students were called up as well and class numbers continued to decrease as the months went on.
The war changed the face of ACP in many ways.
In 1943, Dr. O’Brien replaced Mansfield as dean of the College and was tasked with the difficult job of keeping the school afloat during the most difficult crisis it had ever faced.
The College was in rough shape financially; the long years of the Depression with few students were further exacerbated by the war. Denegar, who had been hired at ACP in 1944 as an instructor in pharmacy and mathematics, remembered that there were periods when Dean O’Brien did not take his salary and the payroll was supplemented by contributions from a board member.
With the bank threatening to take over the mortgage, the new dean predicted that the post-war years would bring in many returning servicemen and a new beginning for ACP. The school steadfastly hung on.
the yearbook was chock full of photos of men in the uniforms of the army, navy and marines. With graduating classes in both January and June, the Class of 1944, was reduced to only 15 graduates, six of them women.
Luckily, due to the Medical Technology program, by 1944 there were 25 “girls” at ACP and for the first time, ACP classes contained more women than men. Without their tuition dollars, the College probably would not have made it through the war years.
The Class of ’45, the first to be totally accelerated, was set to graduate in two years and eight months. Even so, the class went through three sets of officers; each time elections were held, the winners were drafted.
By the time the Class of ’46 graduated, with only six members, it was deemed to be “the smallest in the history of the College,” save the first graduating class in 1882.
There were shortages of material goods as well as students. A “Victory Garden,” cultivated by the botany classes of Professor John Dwyer provided cabbage, tomatoes and spinach for a very practical lesson. Students shivered through the state boards, held in the school auditorium, due to a shortage of heating materials, and the Alumni Association pitched in to collect $3,500 for a Coal Conversion Fund.
Intramural basketball and tennis were the only sports as teams could not travel to games because of gasoline rationing. Even the popular Camera Club was put on the back burner because of the unavailability of film.
Other clubs and fraternal organizations languished due to lack of personnel and funding, though a few bravely soldiered on through the war years. Activities in general tended to be more serious; the Alumni Association recruited prospective students, sponsored Red Cross First Aid courses and tried to gather information on the status of alumni in any branch of the armed services. Albany Mayor Erastus Corning was the featured speaker at the Alumni Banquet in 1943, shortly before he entered the army as an infantryman private.
In spite of the gloomy times and accelerated schedule, life at ACP was not all work and no play.
Students hung out at the Washington Tavern and Ralph’s and bought meal tickets to eat at the Deluxe Restaurant on Madison Avenue. There were botany hikes with Professor Dwyer in McKown’s Grove in Guilderland, informal tennis tournaments and even a boat trip to Kingston. Activities for women continued to flourish; Lambda Kappa Sigma sponsored hay rides and dances and the girl’s bowling team had 10 members.
In 1945, the Alumni Association did not hold its annual spring meeting due to transportation restrictions. That year, nearly 300 ACP alumni were in the armed services. Those that remained at home rallied round their alma mater, “creating a reserve fund to overcome the deficits occasioned by the present limited enrollment.”
And still the war ground on.
Then “one hot August night the girls of the class were taking out the fellows as part of a sorority initiation when the V.J. announcement came through [over the radio], resulting in a sudden change of plan.” It was August 14, 1945, also known as “Victory over Japan Day,” and the war was over. By the time Japan formally surrendered on September 2, things already had started to change for ACP.
In October 1945 “the doors opened to a new era of well being, crowded classrooms and noisy halls.” Dean O’Brien had been right. The G.I. Bill, officially known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, provided tuition and stipends for living expenses to returning veterans to attend college or trade school.
Nearly 10 million servicemen in the U.S. took advantage of the benefits before the program was phased out.
The first post-war class contained 70-plus ’49ers, forcing Dean O’Brien to “unlock the auditorium to accommodate the large class” and turn the “boy’s lounge” into a classroom rather than a smoking room. So many vets joined the ranks of ACP students that more than half of the freshmen class was made up of ex-servicemen and 42 percent of the male and female students were married.
Another freshmen class was added during the second semester to accommodate the overflow; soon there were 120 new students for the Bachelor of Science programs in Pharmacy and Medical Technology.
The Med Tech program went from a three-year certificate program to a four-year Bachelor of Science program in 1945, with three years spent at ACP and one full year at Bender Laboratory across the street, under Director John J. Clemmer, M.D., and his staff. Eventually, the third year was spent at Bender and the fourth at Brady Hospital, Wasserman Lab or another local facility.
For the first time, the program was not limited to “girls only” and the Class of 1949 contained two male Med Tech majors.
With all of the “co-eds” on campus, more activities for women were added. In 1947, a Girl’s Club was formed with the first scheduled event a “Bacon Bat” at Thacher Park. Similar to a marshmallow roast, students feasted on sandwiches after toasting the bacon on sticks over a fire. The club also sponsored a sleigh ride down Western Avenue for 25 couples (with a chaperone, of course), a picnic at Sand Lake and trips to historic sites such as the Van Buren House in Kinderhook. A signature event for the club was the popular weekly “Coke Party.”
Lambda Kappa Sigma sorority was reactivated and sponsored a Valentine’s Hop with the newly revitalized frats. Kappa Psi was back to full membership for first time since 1941, Rho Pi Phi was reactivated in the spring of 1945 and Phi Delta Chi was restarted by a group of energetic veterans in late 1946.
Other clubs and sports made their reappearance as well.
The Mortar and Pestle and Student Council returned, as did the Camera Club, with 50 active members. Bowling and basketball were back, with the addition of an “efficient and competent” cheerleading squad sporting red and white outfits and saddle shoes.
The bowling team joined the Intercollegiate League of the Capital District when it was formed in 1948, while the basketball team became a member of the new Empire State Conference that same year. In 1949, an Athletic Commission was formed to handle the nitty-gritty details of the burgeoning sports program.
New activities, including a fledgling student branch of the American Pharmaceutical Association, a Dramatic Club and a Chess Club, gave students even more options. And the social whirl was once again in full swing with a Campus Queen Dance, Corn Hop, St. Patrick’s Day Dance, Junior Prom and square dances in “dungarees.”
Of course, there were lots of informal get-togethers to encourage the “ole college spirit” complete with “be-bop” music and snacks of “Dagwood sandwiches,” named for the 1930s comic strip character.
Activities were not limited to campus. Beginning in 1947, juniors and seniors traveled to the Eli Lilly headquarters in Indianapolis during spring vacation, where they lived “the life of kings for two days.” In 1949, students visited Parke-Davis in Detroit.
Things certainly were looking up for ACP by 1949, when the yearbook commented on one of several new faculty members hired to deal with the influx in students. The recently graduated Walter Singer ’48 was assigned to teach chemistry and “all kinds of expressions greeted Professor Singer as he rose to the challenge of teaching the first class in chemistry to the Class of ’52.”
Little did they know at the time that Dr. Singer would go on to become one of the most significant members of the ACP community.
The 1950's brought prosperity for ACP with enrollment numbers still high and a large number of veterans from both World War II and the Korean War attending classes. The upsurge in enrollment led to more and revitalized sports and activities, and soon, the need for additional space. That issue was addressed in 1956 when the College broke ground on a new addition to its main building (the Wardle Wing), a fitting "gift" to mark the school's 75th anniversary.
After a somewhat rocky start, the 1950s brought prosperity for ACP, with enrollment numbers still high and a large number of veterans from both World War II and the Korean war attending classes. By 1956, with the prospect of a new five-year degree in pharmacy on the horizon, the College broke ground on a new wing, creating more space and marking the school's Diamond Jubilee.
When the United States entered the Korean war on June 27, 1950, Dean Francis O'Brien '20 told the Class of '51 that "in 1947 when you entered, the world was in an immediate post-war period and appeared to be on the verge of a long era of peace and prosperity."
That era of peace turned out to be very short-lived and students once again put aside their books to enlist. However, after the Korean war ended in July 1953, veterans flocked back to the College under the G.I. Bill and ACP regained its equilibrium. Once again the students were older, rather than newly minted high school graduates, and many of them were married as well.
The medical technology program was in full swing, and especially busy after a Blood Bank opened at Bender Laboratory and made its services available to the Albany chapter of the American Red Cross for collection of blood for the armed services. With 100 pints of blood collected each week as well as pathology tests for various area hospitals, there was plenty of work for the med tech students who spent their junior year at Bender lab.
Med techs initially paid the same $375 tuition as the rest of the students, though that dropped to $275 for the year at Bender. Tuition was waived for the fourth year of practical experience at one of the local hospitals.
The American Society of Clinical Pathology, which certified medical technicians, projected that by 1960, 50,000 certified med techs would be needed in the United States. Although men were admitted to ACP's program, it was populated primarily by young women, though more and more of them switched to the B.S. in pharmacy as the decade wore on.
As a 1954 article in Mortar and Pestle said, "for the single girl, pharmacy offers a career where she is able to work 40-50 hours a week at a comfortable wage." The upsurge in enrollment meant the need for new facilities, as well as more and revitalized sports and activities at the College. The Alumni Association worked to equip a new library and raised $5,000 toward that end. A new librarian, Dr. Sourya Hainebach, was hired in 1950 and impressed the students with her glamorous past as a fighter with the French Underground during World War II.
Sports really began to take off at ACP during the '50s. Most significantly, the decade ushered in a new coach and a new era for the basketball team.
With the arrival of Albert M. White in the fall of 1952, the Panthers went on to 13 consecutive winning seasons on the court. So popular was the sport under "Wizard" White that the school added a junior varsity team, intramural basketball and a cheerleading squad, and strengthened the Athletic Commission under his leadership, all in the name of building better teams for the future.
In the 1953-54 season, the team had a 13-2 record with captain Harry Mikhitarian '54 scoring at a pace of 22.1 points per game. By the sixth consecutive winning season under coach White, in 1956-57, the buses were filled to the brim for away games and the gym could barely contain the overflow crowds, who roared their approval during spirited pep rallies. Captain Gordon Dailey '57, with 267 points, and his teammates were feted by the College's trustees with a banquet at the University Club that spring.
The following year, the first Alumni Basketball Dinner was organized by the Alumni Association to honor ACP's outstanding team. The "Future Pharmacists" were lauded, not only by Dean O'Brien and their professors, but also by sportswriters for the Knickerbocker News and Times Union . It had been the greatest year ever for top scorer Frank Viviani '58 and the Panthers, who won 13 games in a row before dropping the last heartbreaking encounter to the University of Connecticut. Panther "Cubs," the junior varsity team, were part of the newly formed Capital District Conference. With their own JV cheerleading squad, the team rode to and from games in style in a 1935 Ford under coach Win Dobbins.
Other sports at the College flourished as well. Two returning vets rebuilt the bowling team in the early '50s and hit the lanes at the Playdium Bowling Center on Ontario Street weekly. Intramural programs included an impressive six basketball teams, ping pong, golf, tennis and softball. Those interested in varsity sports other than basketball or bowling could join the varsity football, baseball, swimming and hockey teams at Union College.
The three fraternities and the Lambda Kappa Sigma sorority all had healthy rosters in the '50s, sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of Greek life, and actively were involved in the social life of the school. In 1954, an Interfraternity Council was formed with representatives from each group and the IFC Dance and other activities became an integral part of College life.
In addition, Rho Pi Phi sponsored the Campus Queen Dance, Kappa Psi the Sweetheart Formal and Phi Delta Chi a Winter Wonderland Dance, while Lambda Kappa Sigma held a Halloween Hop, "coke parties" and a Mother-Daughter Banquet.
The Girls' Club started off the decade with upwards of 50 members and held a tea for all the "girls" as well as faculty and student wives. Though they optimistically bought a set of cups for future events, the club disbanded in 1950. They threw their annual picnic that year under the banner of the Lambda Kappa Sigma sorority, who continued the tradition through the decade and absorbed many of the club's members.
Other intellectual, religious and social pursuits were popular during the decade as well. The Newman Club, emphasizing Catholic culture and fellowship, formed in the 1950-51 academic year and was followed shortly thereafter by the Student Christian Association. Both groups had very large memberships and held events such as St. Patrick's Day dances and square dances.
Music and dancing played a big part in the life of ACP through the '50s. The Glee Club was revived in the1953-54 academic year after a lapse of 24 years, with Alvin Strack as pianist. The co-ed group, with 20 members, performed in its first program at the holiday festivities in 1953.
Professor Walter Singer '48, the Glee Club advisor, was referred to in the yearbook as the "professor of bop," a reference to the wildly popular bebop music that exploded on the scene at the end of World War II. Impromptu jitterbug contests were held during dances, and when Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" debuted in 1955, students enthusiastically embraced rock 'n roll as well.
Other school activities included the Camera Club, which faithfully documented daily life at the College, and Mortar and Pestle, which celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 1952 with a new magazine-type format.
The Student Council not only dealt with the budgets for all of these clubs but also with weighty issues such as the "smoking problem in the lower corridor" and the "rhubarb in the cafeteria."
The Student Branch of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) at ACP claimed 100 new members by 1952. Rudolph Blythe, a 1931 graduate, made a presentation to the club in 1952 at the Petit Paris, a popular Albany restaurant, to discuss his latest research at Smith, Kline & French. Dr. Blythe spoke about his pioneering work with time-release capsules, which hit the market as "Spansule capsules" in 1952.
With a direct wire hook up to the Founder's Day Centennial Program in Washington, D.C. , and an LP (long-playing) recording of the convention in Philadelphia , APhA members were able to listen in on such timely topics as "National Defense and the Health Professions" and "Medical Effects of the Atomic Bomb."
Though the '50s are often thought of as a quiet and prosperous decade during which many American families moved to the suburbs, national defense was on everyone's minds. The Alembic Pharmakon weighed in on issues such as "The Role of Pharmacy in Civil Defense" and the "ever impending phantasm of a possible enemy attack," including a hydrogen bomb or chemical warfare. Mortar and Pestle published an article on "Fall-out Fever" and the like. The College even had its own Red Cross unit beginning in the spring of 1950, with volunteers assigned to the Motor Corps Service and learning first aid.
Sometimes students could see the humor in the otherwise dire situation. The yearbook included a tongue-in-cheek spoof on "What to Do in Case of an Air Raid," supposedly issued by Professor Walter "Duck and Cover" Singer.
Other grim realties marred the decade as well.
Polio had killed more than 1,300 Americans, primarily children, and crippled more than 18,000 of them in 1954 alone. That year the ACP`s basketball team sponsored a Polio Benefit game with proceeds donated to National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. By the time the Salk vaccine was developed in 1955 and the federal government implemented a plan to have the vaccine produced by six pharmaceutical companies, Mortar and Pestle was weighing in on the topic and the need for more pharmacists to go into research.
The trend in general during the '50s was away from solely retail pharmacy and toward a greater percentage of pharmacists entering hospital, research, government, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sales. The "outlook for pharmacists was very good" according to Mortar and Pestle , and the push for a five-year program at the College continued.
Pharmaceutical companies competed fiercely to attract graduates to jobs in the industry and ACP students were wined and dined royally on their trips to visit Winthrop Sterling, Lederle Laboratories, Abbott, Eli Lilly and Parke-Davis.
On a spring trip to the Midwest to visit Lilly and Parke-Davis, the students departed from Albany's Union Station on the Advance Empire Express in their own car. Upon arrival in Detroit, they were put up at the palatial Book-Cadillac Hotel courtesy of Parke-Davis, which feted them with a "charcoaled sirloin steak" dinner at which the "ladies received orchids and the gentlemen mortar and pestle lapel pins."
Students had fun closer to home as well and took full advantage of the dining, drinking and dancing establishments in ACP's neighborhood.
At Mike's Log Cabin, on North Swan, they feasted on spaghetti, while Calsolaro's on Washington Avenue was favored for pizza, both dishes popularized by World War II veterans who had served in Italy.
Frats held their dinners at Lombardo's and Jack's downtown while more informal student evenings took place at Papa's Restaurant, Sol's University Sandwich Shop and The Fountain on New Scotland.
The dart leagues at both Riley's and Larry's Bar, on the corner of New Scotland and Madison, saw a lot of action during the decade as well. Alan Rand '56 remembered playing for beer tokens at Larry's and winning so many games that, as a non-imbiber, he was able to turn over 500 tokens to his fellow classmates on graduation day!
Outdoor activities included hayrides, toboggan parties at Albany Municipal Golf course and an onslaught of picnics in the spring, beginning with "McGaugh's Thaw" and commencing with hot dog roasts at Thacher Park and softball games at Six Mile Waterworks.
Though the College still had no dormitories, there was a lot of "at home" activity at fraternity houses and apartments scattered throughout the ACP neighborhood.
"Rope Hall," the Rho Pi Phi chapter house, was home to many of the brothers, while other students lived off-campus in a variety of accommodations, some arranged by the school, for a cost of about $22 a week. One 1952 graduate remembered her landlady's first words as "no men, no liquor, no smoking" but students seemed to have fun in spite of the advice!
By the late '50s, with more and more students owning cars and having access to the newly completed New York State Thruway, the student population at ACP began to change from a mostly local base as undergraduates streamed in from farther flung areas of the state. The College parking lots filled with the cars such as the "famous yellow and black convertible" of Mel Friedland '58, and students sought out cheap apartments in the neighborhood including "Clubhouse 35" on New Scotland Avenue, the "84 Grove headquarters" and the "Pinochle Palace" on Glendale .
Back on campus, in both the "boys' and girls' Lounges," students spent the time between classes playing hearts and pinochle, all the while smoking copious amounts of cigarettes.
By 1955, with the largest freshmen class in many years enrolled and the announcement that the B.S in pharmacy at ACP would go to a five-year program in 1960, the College knew it had to do something to ease the crush. Though Dean O'Brien expressed some worry about the "quarter of a million dollars" needed for a new addition, the school plowed bravely ahead with its plans.
Ground was broken on June 6, 1956, for a Diamond Jubilee Wing, just in time to mark the 75th anniversary of the College and prepare for an expected increase in enrollment to 120 students in each freshmen class. The two-story wing would tie the old building to the future, with new classrooms, student and faculty dining halls, labs for physics and pharmacology/anatomy and a lab prep room.
The new wing was dedicated October 13, 1957, to Arthur Wardle, long-time president of the board of trustees. One of the most popular features was a "modern cafeteria with tables and ash trays" and food provided by "Kirkpatrick Caterers."
Oswald and Margaret Kirkpatrick had arrived at the College in 1951, Ossie as superintendent of campus facilities and "Mrs. K." as manager of the cafeteria, which at the time was a small room off the gym with a limited menu and seating facilities. With their Scottish accents, humor and small kindnesses, the Kirkpatricks were well-loved by both faculty and students, who often stopped by their on-campus apartment for a bit of conversation and a piece of shortbread.
When the Wardle Wing was added, Mrs. K. ruled over the new cafeteria, which had a capacity of 120, providing home-cooked food to thousands of students until she retired as cafeteria manager in 1971. She stayed on at the school, helping Ossie with the building and grounds thereafter, and they resided at ACP until Ossie's death in 1993 and Margaret's in 1996.
Another valuable feature of the new addition was the anatomy lab, which eliminated "the brisk march, in the chill of the morn, to the 'cat morgue' behind the old building." Students joked that previously when they "received [their] neatly wrapped package of Felis domestica, they looked like waiters, going to and from the garage" but with a new walk-in, temperature-regulated refrigerator complete with exhaust system, both the walk and the "odor" were eliminated.
The new wing would not only allow for increased enrollment, but would provide the facilities for an increased emphasis on the sciences at ACP, which mirrored what was going on in schools throughout the nation in response a couple of momentous events that occurred in 1957.
History changed on October 4 of that year when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological and scientific developments and marked the start of the space age and the American-Soviet space race.
At ACP, the 1958 yearbook had a space-age theme and talked about responsibilities of the pharmacist in the age of "Sputniks and Explorers." Even the basketball team was pictured against a starry night sky and drawings of rockets and "spacemen" abounded throughout. Both faculty and students ardently debated how "modern day advances into outer space [would] affect pharmacy in the future."
Popular pharmacy professor Burdette Dewell predicted that a customer might have a prescription "not for Dramamine for a trip to Europe but for Drug x-2000 to permit his body to adjust itself to the new conditions of travel in outer space."
George O'Connell '58 felt "pharmacists would be expected to advise physicians caring for space travelers. . Drugs will have to be sought to overcome the boredom and mental fatigue encountered by the spacemen, thus pushing pharmacy ahead with these new discoveries."
It was the age of the atom and of radioactive drugs.
"In the era of uncertainty in world affairs, it is more important than ever that the pharmacist take an active part in the local civic defense program," said the Alembic Pharmakon.
1957 also introduced another factor that influenced the future of pharmacy. The New York Times published an article that year describing an influenza epidemic in Hong Kong that sickened 250,000 people in a very short period. The 1958 yearbook referred to the time from November 1957 to January 1958 as the "Asian Flu dog days." They marked not just an illness, but also the first time that the rapid global spread of a modern influenza virus was available for laboratory investigation.
By 1959, Dean O'Brien was talking about other factors that were contributing to a "changed era" in the profession.
The number of pharmacies was decreasing in proportion to the number of pharmacists and the population as a whole. There was a trend toward larger pharmacies and the "one-man pharmacy" had almost disappeared from urban centers. Pharmacies were devoted more to the "professional aspect" rather than merchandising of items such as cosmetics and sundries. Lastly, there was a strong demand by hospitals and laboratories for people with scientific pharmaceutical training.
In response to these trends, by 1958 ACP students had formed a student affiliate of the American Chemical Society to introduce students to the "professional side" of pharmacy and the technical skills necessary for a career in pharmaceutical chemistry.
With a major push toward the sciences and away from retail pharmacies, gone were the days when ACP students learned soda fountain maintenance and how to wrap a package. It was a new era and, with a new five-year program set to debut in 1960, ACP would be ready for it.
At ACP, the 1960's were marked by two key events: the College launched a new five-year pharmacy program in 1960, and Walter Singer ’48 replaced Francis O’Brien ’20 when the latter stepped down as dean of the school. Dean O'Brien's retirement capped a remarkable 47 years where he served as a member of the faculty or administration of the College. Dr. Singer (pictured at right), who had returned to ACP in 1966 as associate dean and professor of pharmacy, would go on to serve 15 years at the helm of the College.
The 1960s were a time of turmoil and change throughout the nation, as the United States increasingly became involved in the war in Vietnam , the Civil Rights movement heated up and charismatic leaders President John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., were assassinated.
In downtown Albany , the '60s brought demonstrations against the war and for Civil Rights. The decade also brought the demolition of a large tract of property in the center of Albany for the South Mall, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller's controversial brainchild built as an administrative center for state government. By the time the large-scale project was completed, 7,000 people had been displaced and more than 1,500 buildings had been demolished, including Albany College of Pharmacy's first and second homes on Eagle Street.
At ACP, the decade was marked by two important events: a new five-year degree in pharmacy was launched in 1960, and 1967 introduced a new dean, Walter Singer '48.
With the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy now a five-year program, students could begin at ACP or study for the first two years at an accredited College of Arts and Sciences and transfer in for the "professional years," as long as the curriculum was approved by the dean. The B.S. in Medical Technology was still a four-year program that prepared students to take the licensing exam given by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Courses fell into the departments of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Administration, Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Liberal Arts and Medical Technology. Tuition was raised to $600 a year and, although there were no dorms, students could expect to pay about $1,200 for room and board for the year. Many rented single rooms in the neighborhood, and the cafeteria, in the capable hands of Margaret Kirkpatrick, was open five days a week with meals available for $2 a day.
By the end of the decade, tuition had risen to $1,000 a year and many students were renting their own apartments to save on expenses.
Once the five-year program became fully operative in September 1964, that additional year of schooling meant an entire extra class of 100-plus students and overcrowding became a real problem. The Rho Pi Phi fraternity came up with some suggestions to relieve the congestion, including one-way traffic in the halls and on the stairs, outdoor furniture outside the cafeteria to handle lunchtime overflow and a more active Interfraternity Council to alleviate the stresses and strains between competing groups.
With the influx of new students, one controversial subject was violations of the dress code, as spelled out in Article 18 of the General College Rules. Many students decried the fact that "dress shirts, jackets and ties are being discarded in favor of sports shirts and sweaters." The student newspaper, the Mortar and Pestle, came down hard on students for "leaving dirty coffee cups filled with ashes for Mrs. K. to clean up" and noted that students were "too lazy to walk 200 feet from the card room" for basketball tryouts. In general, it seemed that many students in the 1960s felt a relaxing of the rules and a lack of school spirit.
In spite of the tensions, sports and physical fitness continued to be a big part of life at ACP. Spurred on by a very successful advertising campaign, many Americans opted to take the president's famous 50-mile hike challenge. Kennedy was held in great esteem by many students at the College, who dedicated the 1965 yearbook to the slain president (there was no yearbook in 1964 as there was no graduating class that year due to the five-year requirement). At ACP, Chris Kaprielian '63 and Leonard DeVito '67 took the president's challenge and hiked down to the city over a long weekend, in temperatures that dipped to 10 below, wearing ski masks and carrying backpacks.
Most students took a more traditional route to fitness, participating in an active sports program at the College. By 1959-60, the basketball team was in its eighth consecutive winning season under coach Al White. By the following year, when coach White had to suddenly leave a game for an emergency appendectomy, the team kept on winning in his absence - all 12 men scored that night against Berkshire Christian College. With "the best college record in the area" under co-captains Bob Toomajian '62 and Howie Rubinger '63, the team seemed unbeatable.
During the 1964-65 season, the Panthers' second as a member of the newly formed Northeastern Collegiate Conference, the team broke 29 school records and captured the conference title, winning White the honor of Coach of the Year.
So it was a huge shock to the student body when the "Husky Skipper," as White was affectionately known, resigned as coach in 1965 after 13 winning seasons and a 149-72 record. While White remained on as director of athletics and advisor to the Athletic Commission, the team continued on under Ed Lynch in the 1965-66 season, and, throughout the rest of the '60s, under coach Willard Rice.
Basketball was not the only winning sport at ACP. A new bowling league, with six teams, was organized by Rich Cognetti '69 and John Palazzoli '64, in the 1959-60 academic year, and, by the following year, was open to all classes. Eventually, the varsity bowling team at ACP went on to win three North- eastern Collegiate Conference championships in four years during the decade.
The varsity golf team, formed in May 1964, captured three straight NCC championships in 1966-68, and the varsity volleyball team captured the title during the 1967-68 season. Softball, basketball, and tennis continued to enjoy success as well. With all of the winning teams, an honorary Varsity Club was open to anyone who had played one full season in a varsity sport and entitled them to wear a snappy club blazer.
Other new activities were added during the decade, beginning with a college band revived after many years under Richard Daffner '63. The "Rex-men," basically a brass section with a piano, made its debut at a Christmas party in 1960 and played at dances and at basketball games during halftime. With bright red music stands emblazoned with the pharmacy emblem, they cut a fine figure as they launched into the likes of "Swingin' Shepherd Blues" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." The Glee Club still had about 40 members and entertained at concerts, as well as at the annual Homecoming Weekend. This jam-packed event featured a party on Friday night as well as an alumni basketball game, and culminated with a dance and the crowning of the Homecoming queen, a cheerleader chosen by the Athletic Commission.
The student branch of the American Pharmacists Association had a very large membership with 270 active ACP members at its height. One of the highpoints of the decade came in May 1965 when two members of the chapter were in attendance as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, R.Ph., the world's most famous pharmacist at the time, addressed the APhA convention in Detroit .
In 1960, a Wives Auxiliary of the student branch of APhA was organized at the suggestion of Hilda O'Brien '21, the dean's wife. With Priscilla Steed, wife of Gerald Steed '61, as president, "the wives" functioned primarily as a social group, with a goal of familiarizing themselves with their husbands' work and the field of pharmacy in general. Many hours were spent in "wifely chatter" at events such as a "gala Christmas party at the O'Brien's" and bake sales, "white elephant sales," raffles and other money-making schemes. The stated purpose of the club was "giving hubby a night out and treating him [while] raising money for a gift or scholarship to the college."
By January 1961, another new club for young women was formed at ACP with the debut of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Alpha Delta Theta, a professional sorority for college women studying medical technology. The group, founded under the leadership of Wilma Rose as president and the guidance of Miss Mountain, chief bacteriologist at Bender Lab, quickly became an active member of the flourishing Interfraternity Council.
All of the frats and both sororities took part in events sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, including picnics at Thacher Park, tennis matches and baseball games, with the big event of the year the Homecoming Weekend sponsored by the IFC and Athletic Commission.
But each of the fraternal organizations sponsored their own annual events as well. More and more, they became involved in the community, collecting Christmas toys and food for the needy and equipping a pharmacy on the S.S. Hope, a hospital ship that sailed to Indonesia and South Vietnam in 1960. Frats and sororities also were involved in assisting the College itself, including fundraising activities that benefited scholarships. At the beginning of the decade, the "Ropes" even presented ACP with a 50-star flag to commemorate the addition of Hawaii to the United States in 1959.
By the early '60s, Kappa Psi was organizing an Open House at the College to interest prospective students in the new five-year Pharmacy program and demonstrate cutting-edge equipment such as ACP's new MiniVac computer, an early computer that went on the market in 1961.
But, as always, there was a light side to the College as well.
Phi Delta Chi sponsored its first twist party in the fall of 1962, capitalizing on the dance craze sweeping the country. The dance was first popularized by Chubby Checker in 1960 when his song, "The Twist," reached number one for the first time. By the time of the PDC party, the tune had set a record by resurfacing as a number one hit again. At ACP, t wist parties were a roaring success and featured groups like the Orkets and Larry Jackson's Swinging Knights.
Soon, even the twist was becoming a bit old hat and, by 1964, a group of fourth-year students, "Pharmacy's answer to the Beatles," was playing at favorite ACP haunts such as the Petit Paris and Ralph's Tavern. By 1966, "Pharmacy's own Rolling Stones," Les Figarsky and George Milne, had taken over the musical reins.
Some events concentrated more on the theme than the music, capitalizing on popular culture of the times. Kappa Psi's Sweetheart Weekend at the Crooked Lake House featured "machine gun-toting Clydes and long-skirted Bonnies" after the hugely popular film debut of Bonnie and Clyde in 1967.
One of the lighter moments of the decade was the appearance of an eight-foot tall chicken, complete with trailer, at ACP during Kappa Psi pledge week in 1965.
According to Mortar and Pestle, pledges had to "do a bit of chicken riding during second seminar." Things got out of hand when the pledges and some of the brothers decided to take the chicken downtown at 11:30 p.m. "where they encountered four cop cars and a couple of motorcycles." After an explanation from the leader of the brigade, the fraternity and the chicken parted company. Luckily for the frat, "there was no trouble, as it was all done in fun."
Outside of ACP, students embraced the full spectrum of the 1960s.
Early in the decade, many students were veterans of the Korean war with young families. They played pinochle and ping pong in the men's smoker and showed off their cars in the College parking lot. They listened to jazz on their "hi-fis" and went to see the Smothers Brothers perform when they played at Siena College in 1962. And the preferred reading material for the "Atomic Age Generation" was Frannie and Zooey by J.D. Salinger and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.
By 1965, Mortar and Pestle reported that ACP "folk fans poured in with blankets and bottles of chianti" to see Bob Dylan perform at the Troy Armory. Within three years students were hanging out at the Eighth Step Coffee House on Willett and State streets to hear folk music, poetry and plays on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
On the more serious side of things, both the Student Christian Association and the Newman Club started off the '60s with very large memberships. The Newman Club, for Catholic students, sponsored well-attended folk masses, though some students felt they might be "hootenanny with communion," a reference to a popular 1963 TV show featuring folk musicians who performed on college campuses.
Both clubs discussed topics such as religion in folk music and jazz, the relationship of Hinduism to Christianity, chastity versus birth control and the peace movement, which was coming to the forefront as the war in Vietnam continued to heat up.
In early 1965, the United States had begun air raids on North Vietnam and on Communist-controlled areas in the south and by 1966 there were 190,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam. By 1969, that number had swelled to nearly 550,000 and the U.S was torn by a war that many young people did not support.
At ACP, students reacted to the war in different ways. In November 1965, senior William Buck '66 addressed a seminar group at the College and urged support of the war in Vietnam, circulating a petition that stated:
"We, the undersigned students of ACP, not condoning war as an ordinary course of events. do in this extraordinary situation, give our support to the President of the United States and our fighting men in their effort in South Vietnam . God bless them all."
Buck and Timothy Garrity '66 received coverage in the local news media when they both flew down to Washington, D.C. to present the petition.
By March 1966, the Alpha Delta Theta sorority was involved in Operation Vietnam, sending novels to G.I.s in an effort co-sponsored by the Albany Times Union and Fort Orange Radio Distributing Company. The sorority collected a total of 288 books, which were shipped off with letters from the sorority members.
That same year, Dean O'Brien's last, he thanked the ACP students going into the service "to maintain the freedom and integrity of this country."
As Dean O'Brien stepped down after 47 years as a member of the faculty and administration, one of ACP's own came in to fill the gap.
Walter Singer, a 1948 graduate who had returned to the College in 1966 as associate dean and professor of pharmacy, became the new dean upon Dr. O'Brien's retirement. Dean Singer previously had taught at ACP until 1954, when he went to University of California at San Francisco for his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry. He eventually rose to the position of assistant dean at UCSF before his return to his alma mater.
By the following fall, under Dean's Singer's watch, ACP and Albany Medical College were touting their new joint toxicology program, one of the only of its kind in the country, where research was carried out under the supervision of scientists at AMC's Institute of Experimental Pathology .
The College also entered the computer age with a $3,000 grant from the Smith, Kline and French Foundation to purchase a "calculator with memory blanks" and "introduce a statistical approach to the handling of data."
There were other signs that the College was entering a new era.
In 1966, the fifth annual Continuing Education program, sponsored by the Alumni Association, featured sessions on hallucinogenic drugs and anti-fertility agents. An orientation program was instituted for freshmen, ACP joined with other colleges to form the Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges and Universities, and, for the first time, dormitory space became available. Shared with students from Albany Med and Albany Law School, the dorm featured quads for $550 a year for a double. A real drawback was the single kitchen shared by eight floors, forcing many students to resort to hotplates.
Against the turbulent background of the late '60s - anti-war protests, the women's movement, the sexual revolution and Robert Kennedy's assassination - the Alembic Pharmakon of 1969 was dedicated to peace among men. ACP entered its next decade with a cautiously hopeful outlook as Dean Singer urged students to use their "intellectual power and numerical strength to move your profession in the direction in which you want it to go."
For the 1974-75 academic year, a decision was made to divide the final year of the pharmacy program into three segments, featuring 24 weeks of didactic instruction and a block of 13 weeks of clinical practice. These innovative hands-on experiences - the precursor to today's Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE's) - were designed to give graduates a leg up in finding employment.
The 1970s were a time of radical change in the country, and those changes were mirrored at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The women's liberation movement, the computer age, social responsibility, the war against drugs and a tough job market all had far-reaching implications for the College during the decade.
Walter Singer '48, Ph.D., had been at the helm of the College for three years, and was ably assisted by Assistant Dean Russell Denegar '43. The College still had only two programs of study going into the decade: the five-year B.S. in Pharmacy and the four-year B.S. in Medical Technology, in which the students spent their fourth year at St. Peter's Hospital School of Medical Technology, rather than at Bender Lab as in the past. Students paid around $1,400 for room and board and continued to reside in the surrounding neighborhoods in the absence of a dormitory.
The second and third years of the Medical Technology curriculum had been revised in the beginning of the 1970s. By the 1974-75 academic year, Dean Singer announced a radical change in the curriculum for pharmacy students as well. That fall, the fifth year for the B.S in Pharmacy was divided into three segments, including 24 weeks of didactic instruction at ACP with a block of 13 weeks of clinical practice (structured externship) at community pharmacies and health care institutions. The assignment of the 90 professional practice sites was coordinated Assistant Dean Albert M. White.
These curricular changes, especially the practical experience, were designed to give graduates a leg up in finding employment. With a record 566 students registered that fall and a flagging job market for pharmacists, some graduates found it increasingly difficult to find a position. Consequently, a job placement office was set up at the College in 1975. Interview Days, which had been started in 1968, also helped by introducing students to a plethora of pharmaceutical companies from throughout the country.
By 1978, a new Master's degree in Health Systems Management, in combination with the B.S. in Pharmacy, was added to the curriculum under the guidance of faculty member Joseph Lapetina, allowing students another career pathway.
Professor Lapetina also was put in charge of another relatively new component of life at ACP when he was named director of computer services. Computer facilities at the College in those days consisted of a Digital Equipment Corp. PDP 11/40, a time-sharing system that supported 16 terminals, either hard-wired or remote, and a Plato IV terminal. This computer-based teaching system, which was connected to the University of Illinois , provided a means for individual student tutoring through the use of both text and graphics.
In another new direction, ACP reached out to graduates with a nascent Continuing Education program when Ron McLean '51 and Kenneth Griswold '21, former trustee, were named to head up the Division of Extension Services in 1977. The program kicked off with a "Seminar of the Eye," as the first offering available to ACP alumni.
The '70s also brought radical change to the dress code at ACP. Beginning in 1970, the Student Council revised the rules to allow for more liberalized dress for classes and enforced the new code from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Sport coats and ties still were recommended for men, but not required. However, sweat shirts, sweaters without shirts and t-shirts were banned, as were sandals or sneakers. Blue jeans, providing they were clean and not ripped, were only the province of the male members of the student body, who still were required to wear lab coats for certain classes. Female students were allowed "slacks and culottes," though dresses were preferred. Hot pants, shorts, jeans, sweat shirts and t-shirts were prohibited.
President Nixon's "War Against Drugs," which had been launched in 1971, also came to the forefront during the decade and service activities at ACP reflected the prominence of the theme.
That year, the College sponsored an exhibit on the "Future of Pharmacy in the '70s" at Colonie Center, the first enclosed mall in the Capital Region. The most popular of the eight displays centered around the reactions of lab rats to depressants and stimulants. Drug abuse was a consistent theme of the ACP displays at the mall during National Pharmacy Week throughout the decade. In addition, Rho Pi Phi presented a drug abuse program to high school students in conjunction with New York State Narcotic Addiction Control Commission.
One hallmark of the '70s that was not reflected at ACP was the decline in the fraternity-sorority system, mirroring a national trend. The "restrictive and establishment-oriented fraternity membership has faded," said an article in Mortar and Pestle. At ACP, fraternities were both social and professional in nature and "filled the void" in terms of a social life "handicapped by the small size of the campus."
Though the decade started on a conservative note in terms of activities - with Lambda Kappa Sigma sponsoring Mother-Daughter banquets and freshmen teas for incoming female students - by the end of the '70s, for the first time it ACP's history, the ratio of men to women was roughly equal and activities at the school were reflective of that.
The Interfraternity and Sorority Council, with women playing an active part, sponsored school picnics, mixers and intramural sports programs. There were three professional fraternities on campus, Kappa Psi, Phi Delta Chi and the now co-ed "Ropes" in Rho Pi Phi, plus the Lambda Kappa Sigma sorority. The ACP chapter of Alpha Delta Theta, a professional sorority for women in the field of medical technology, was disbanded after the 1972-73 academic year.
All of the fraternal organizations were very active, both professionally and socially. Kappa Psi published a Student Directory and sponsored the annual Sweetheart Weekend. Phi Delta Chi had an active student recruitment program for incoming freshmen, in addition to social events such as the Winter Interlude. Rho Pi Phi set up Poison Prevention Week activities at Colonie Center and sponsored a Campus King and Queen Weekend. Lambda Kappa Sigma raised money for the S.S. Hope, a hospital ship, in addition to its active social calendar.
In 1976, a new pharmacy honor society, Rho Chi, open to both men and women, was established when the Gamma Gamma Chapter was started at ACP. The new organization, which recognized scholastic achievement, kicked off with an installation dinner at Jack's Oyster House downtown.
ACP also had student chapters of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Pharmaceutical Society of the State of New York (PSSNY), Albany County Pharmaceutical Society, Northeastern New York Society of Hospital Pharmacists and American Chemical Society. PSSNY and APhA even had a Women's Auxiliary that provided loans for fourth- and fifth-year women. The student APhA chapter at ACP was in the national limelight when Jack V. Nicolais Jr. '74 was elected national president of the organization in 1972.
In addition to pharmacy-related organizations, ACP boasted the Mortar and Pestle and Alembic Pharmakon , a Music Ensemble, Film Club, Photography Club, Outing Club, Ski Club and the literary journal Panther Tales . There also was a Student Video Network, which produced telecasts written, produced, directed and acted by students, and the Panther Players, a Drama Club that performed popular plays such as "Spoon River Anthology" and "Harvey."
Both the new Key Club and Circle K involved students in myriad community service projects such as a Dance Marathon to benefit American Cancer Society. The Newman Club and the Student Christian Association combined during the decade to form the Interfaith Association, which also was involved in community volunteer work.
Students throughout the College were involved in staffing the Washington Park Free Medical Clinic on Hamilton Street, which in those days even received funding from the ACP student budget. Although they could not dispense, students assisted in the ordering of pharmaceuticals and prepared them for patients.
ACP still participated in intercollegiate sports in the Northeastern Collegiate Conference and had basketball, soccer, cross country, tennis, softball and bowling teams for men. Women could compete in intercollegiate basketball, volleyball, softball and bowling, and there were intramural sports and Union College varsity sports available for both sexes.
The varsity golf and bowling teams were especially successful during the decade and brought home NCC championships. And the NCC All Sports trophy, commemorating the highest total points for athletic competition, went to ACP a few times during the '70s.
Students also could participate in more low-key competitions in between classes. In 1970, in answer to requests by many of the students, a new Student Union was created when a room in the 1927 building was emptied of lockers and re-designed for recreational use. Ping pong, cards, pool and Yahtzee, a game popularized by Milton-Bradley in 1973, were the most popular activities. Much to the dismay of the administration, the room was so poorly treated that the Student Union had to be closed for an entire week to allow Margaret Kirkpatrick, who had retired as cafeteria manager but remained on the facilities staff, to clean up.
Eventually, the room was opened at night and by 1979, beer and wine were available through an experimental program worked out with John's Tavern.
There was also a Coffee House in the cafeteria two nights a week where students could indulge in a folkier atmosphere, listening to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan while quoting Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kahlil Gilbran, Herman Hesse and, that perennial '70s favorite, Alice in Wonderland. Other on-campus activities included comedy skits by the second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-year students, who acted out the roles of Dean Singer and their favorite professors.
Homecoming/Parents Weekend was moved from the fall and the first annual winter sports carnival with snow sculpture, basketball games, reception and brunch was held in February 1978.
ACP students kept an active social schedule and each year was marked by an endless cycle of occasions for celebration. The Junior Prom, the end-of year clambake at Thacher Park and the Halfway Party for third-year students, "a celebration of 2½ years of very hard work and the beginning of 2½ years of even harder work" were all a much-anticipated part of the schedule.
And, of course, there were toga parties, which skyrocketed in popularity with the 1978 release of National Lampoon's Animal House , starring Saturday Night Live veteran John Belushi. The television show also struck a chord with students at ACP, and throughout the nation, as evidenced by the number of "Conehead" clones at the annual ACP Halloween party.
Outside of school, there was always Ralph's, the "ACP Annex" on the corner of New Scotland and Madison avenues that was the "home of the ACP banner" for many years. With its flashing pinball machine, and against an endless background of "Mack the Knife" on the jukebox, the tavern functioned as a "home-away-from-home" for many students during their time at the College.
There were always lots of informal parties at the many apartments in the surrounding neighborhood when students could chill listening to early '70s favorites such as James Taylor, Poco, Who's Next , and the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, right up to the disco years of Saturday Night Fever, the wildly popular movie soundtrack released in 1977. Students also took full advantage of the rest of their neighborhood, hanging out at the brand new McDonald's on Hackett and Holland avenues or the Elbo Room on Delaware , dining at the U.N. Diner, gathering by the Moses fountain in Washington Park or at the newly dedicated Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza .
In spite of it all, there were repeated articles in Mortar and Pestle about student apathy, a trend that was reflected in colleges all over the country. By the end of the '70s, with enrollments dipping once again, also reflective of the nation at large, ACP got ready to face more tough challenges as it entered the '80s.
In 1981, the College celebrated its 100th anniversary with a gala event at the new Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany. Similar to its 75th anniversary, the College broke ground that year on an addition to the O'Brien Building (it would eventually be named the Blythe Building in honor of Rudolph Blythe '31). The decade also saw the 1982 retirement of Dean Singer who was replaced by Kenneth Miller, Ph.D. Dr. Miller would become just the sixth dean in the College's history.
ACP entered the 1980s with its lowest enrollment in 10 years, reflective of a drop in colleges throughout the country, but also heading in a brand new direction. In 1981, the College marked its 100th anniversary with a huge celebration at the new Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany and broke ground for a new wing for its flagship building on New Scotland Avenue. The following year, Dean Walter Singer '48, Ph.D., retired making way for the arrival of a new president and dean, Kenneth Miller, Ph.D.
ACP celebrated graduation and its 100th birthday in style on June 6, 1981, with a Centen- nial Dinner and Gala Centennial Ball at the plaza. A new Alma Mater was composed for the occasion by David Miller '80, a graduate with a degree in music from Cornell University, with lyrics written by a team of ACP faculty led by Susanne Dumbleton, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. The fledgling piece was performed that day by the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
During graduation ceremonies, Rudolph H. Blythe '31, Pharm.D., received an honorary Doctor of Science degree recognizing his pioneering work on the timed-release capsule, as did Donald Brodie, a nationally recognized hospital pharmacy administrator and educator, and William Helfand. An exhibit of Helfand's comprehensive collection of 19 th century pharmacy and medical poster art was exhibited that fall at the New York State Museum in honor of ACP's Centennial.
Another fall event, marking the anniversary of the first day of classes in October 1881, was the groundbreaking for a new two-story wing (rechristened the Rudolph H. Blythe Wing in 2000) for a library, administration offices, classrooms and a computer center. The $4 million expansion would provide room to grow for the College as it embarked on its second hundred years.
The new expansion came just in the nick of time for the growing ranks of ACP students who came for either the five-year B.S. in Pharmacy, the four-year B.S. in Medical Technology or a Master's degree in Health Systems Management/B.S. in Pharmacy, offered through the graduate program at Union College.
By the 1982-83 academic year, ACP needed room for a whopping 578 students, up 7.4 percent from the previous year, with 337 women and 341 men. The third-year class in particular was a record breaker, with 149 students. Though there were 545 students for the B.S in Pharmacy, only 33 were enrolled in the Med Tech program. The number of women at ACP continued to increase and by the following year, the Class of '88 contained 65.7 percent women. With tuition raised to $3,200, ACP's fortunes seemed to be looking up.
More change for the College came in 1982 with the retirement of Dean Singer after 15 years at the helm. His successor, Dr. Miller, started at ACP in time for the 1982-83 academic year. Dr. Miller had earned his master's and a doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin and previously had coordinated the Pharm.D. program at Vanderbilt University . Dr. Miller had a strong interest in the establishment of a similar program at ACP and one of the first changes under his watch was the reorganization of the administrative structure at the College. Two key moves were the appointments of Joseph Lapetina as associate dean of academic affairs and Albert M. White as associate dean of student affairs.
ACP's new leader had an open-door policy and an immediate rapport with students, listening to their concerns about the dress code, class bells and student apathy. At least one of those issues was addressed immediately; by the following year "rustling paper ha[d] replaced bells" at the end of class. The dress code hung on throughout the decade, with occasional letter to Mortar and Pestle about ripped jeans, sweats, tie dyes and shorts on campus before 5:00 p.m., when the rules were relaxed.
The new wing of the 1927 building, which recently had been named in honor of former dean Francis J. O'Brien '20 for his many years of service to the College, was set to open in January 1983 when disaster struck. The night before the spring semester started, heavy rains, in combination with a layer of ice and frozen drain pipes, led to a serious leak. Three ceiling panels came down in the library and water came pouring in, flooding the new space and adjoining offices with several inches of water. The "new swimming pool," as the students took to calling it, forced the postponement of the semester by one day while the mess was cleaned up.
By 1984, several changes in degree programs were ushered in at ACP. Although the B.S. in Pharmacy remained, with substantial curricular changes for the third, fourth and fifth years, as did the combined M.S. in Health Systems Management/B.S. in Pharmacy, the four-year B.S. in Medical Technology was replaced with a program of part-time study. The "Medical Technology Part-Time Flexible Study Program," held in the late afternoon and evening during the fall and spring semesters and in a concentrated format during the summers, would allow holders of an associate's degree in Medical Laboratory Science to obtain their B.S. The last two graduates of the full-time B.S. program in Medical Technology graduated in 1988, bringing an era to a close at ACP.
Changes were in the air in terms of residential facilities as well. For the first half of the decade, students either lived at home, in neighborhood apartments or, for female students only, at Lima Hall at The College of St. Rose. By 1985, with increasing enrollment, it was clear something needed to be done. The College acquired Alumni Hall, an apartment building located at 25 Holland Ave. , and opened it to all non-commuting freshmen. Each furnished apartment had a living area, bath and kitchen, with access to a laundry room, pay phone and recreation room in the basement.
Though, initially, there were "less than ideal conditions, as the purchase had only been finalized one month before students moved in," by November the new dorm hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for residents upon their return to school after the holiday.
Even with the new dorm, students continued to rely on the "Greeks" to form the backbone of social life. Four professional fraternities - Kappa Psi, Lambda Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Chi and Rho Pi Phi - kept up an active schedule of social, professional and service activities.
Kappa Psi and Lambda Kappa Sigma coordinated Sweetheart Weekend, a semi-formal event, in addition to service activities such as blood drives and volunteering at Ronald McDonald House. Kappa Psi also threw a huge Halloween party each year, sometimes at local venues such as Guido's Playroom and sometimes in the Panther's Den. Phi Delta Chi sponsored an annual Drug Fair and the well-attended Taco Tuesdays. Rho Pi Phi threw a Chris-giving dinner between Thanksgiving and Christmas and educated school-age children during Poison Prevention Week.
Although ROPE no longer sponsored the Campus Queen dance of days gone by, they participated in Greek Weekend with other Inter-fraternity Council members. The all-frat weekend featured a semi-formal dinner dance as well as a costumed Toga Party. Another IFC event was the wildly popular WAMPA (We Are Massive Party Animals), a huge picnic that usually fell on the last day of final exams and cost just $5 for food, beverages, bus transportation and music. The Sausage and Cheer Party also kicked off in the '80s in a backyard on Warren Street and grew from a small gathering to an extravaganza open to the entire school.
Greek life was not without controversy. Pledging and hazing at colleges throughout the nation became a topic of much debate after anti-hazing laws were enacted following the 1978 death of a pledge at Alfred University. By the end of the decade, the future of frats at the school seemed in jeopardy and Mortar and Pestle was filled with letters on the issue from students and faculty, both pro and con. A 1988 letter from Dean White spoke of improvements to the pledging system and, at least at ACPH, the crisis seemed to be averted.
For students interested in Greek life without the partying, the Alpha Upsilon chapter of Kappa Epsilon was chartered in April of 1989. The chapter was part of a national, professional, co-ed pharmaceutical fraternity that sponsored both professional and social functions, such as clothing drive to benefit a homeless shelter and ice cream socials and picnics, with a strict no-alcohol policy.
While the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society, recognizing scholastic ability, already was firmly ensconced, 1983 brought a second honorary society to the College with the formation of the Omicron chapter of the Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society. With Dean White a founder and president of the national organization, one of the first chapters in the country was established at ACP. Other professional organizations at ACP during the decade included the student branches of the American Chemical Society, Pharmacy Society of the State of New York , Northeastern New York Society of Hospital Pharmacists and Albany County Pharmaceutical Society. The Academy of Students of Pharmacy formed at the College in the late '80s. All students were welcome to discuss issues and legislation affecting pharmacy and the Political Action Committee gave the group a voice in what the pharmacy profession would be in the future.
Another new group was founded at the College in 1985 when Mainak Amin '87 organized the International Cultural Awareness Club. Dedicated to celebrating and exploring the diversity of cultures around the world, the group sponsored multi-cultural dinners, dances and outings to the theater and ethnic restaurants.
Other clubs and organizations included the Student Council, Circle K, Drama Club, Music Ensemble, Film Club and Photography Club, while publications included Mortar and Pestle , Alembic Pharmakon and the literary journal Panther Tales.
The literary-minded also were accorded a rare opportunity to meet some of the stellar literary figures of the time through the "Living Writers" program at ACP, coordinated by Dr. Dumbleton. Toni Morrison, William Kennedy and Nadine Gordimer all made appearances at the school during the program's tenure. Gloria Steinem, who had been instrumental in the founding of New York and Ms. magazines, was another of the "gadflys" whom the program attracted. According to Mortar and Pestle, those invited to participate were "well-known irritants who refuse to accept the status quo as inevitable and urge others to rethink their world view."
The musically inclined had a chance to perform in the annual Coffee House, an integral part of Parent's Weekend. The music, both instrumental and vocal, ranged from the silly to the serious. Those who couldn't sing could be seen around campus with the headphones of their Sony Walkmans clamped to their ears as they listened to Michael Jackson, Wham, Pat Benatar, Culture Club, Bon Jovi, Talking Heads, Cyndi Lauper and the Pretenders.
For those more interested in athletics, sports at ACP during the '80s included successful golf, bowling, women's cross country and men's and women's soccer and basketball teams. Dorothea Palen was the women's cross country Northeastern Athletic Conference champ in 1982. By the end of the decade, the women's basketball team had taken home three first-place NAC trophies, including the 24-1 season of 1985-86 led by Martha Naber '86 and Rita Leighton '86. The men's basketball team underwent a big change in 1989 when John Denio, after 12 years, 125 wins and two NAC titles, announced his decision to stop coaching.
With a heavy academic load and plenty of opportunities for extra-curricular activities, sometimes students just needed to kick back and relax. Classmates celebrated the hard work of a rigorous five-year Pharmacy program with a series of parties that marked their progress.
The fall semester kicked off with a Champagne Breakfast at Ralph's on the Park. On a designated date in October, beginning at 8:00 a.m., Ralph's served eggs, sausage, bacon, rolls and tater tots, plus champagne and orange juice. One impromptu opportunity to let off steam occurred when a freak snowstorm in October 1987 caused the unheard-of cancellation of classes at ACP and led to widescale snowball fights. A typical year in the '80s also included the Halfway, Four-Fifths, Count-Down and All the Way parties.
Soon even those milestones would change as ACP entered the '90s and got ready for a new six-year Pharm.D. program.
In 1995, University Heights Association Inc. was established to benefit ACP and its three academic neighbors - Albany Law School, Albany Medical College, and The Sage Colleges. UHA purchased the former home of the Christian Brothers Academy and the New York State Armory on New Scotland Avenue to create a 30-acre campus shared by all four colleges. ACP was "landlocked" no more, setting the stage for the College's physical expansion plans in the 21st century.
The 1990s were a time of turmoil in the United States and throughout the world. The decade that opened with the Gulf War in 1990 also brought the collapse of the Soviet Union, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Columbine shootings.
At ACP, the '90s were a time of transition.
The Doctor of Pharmacy program began in 1990 as a two-year post-baccalaureate degree and, by the fall of 1993, was offered as a stand-alone six-year option in addition to the five-year Bachelor's program. It was the beginning of a national move among pharmacy colleges toward making the doctorate the sole degree leading to pharmacy licensure, a trend which took hold at ACP as the '90s came to a close; the 1999-2000 academic year was the last in which ACP offered freshmen the five-year B.S. option.
In 1995, University Heights Association Inc. was established to benefit ACP and its academic neighbors - Albany Law School, Albany Medical College and The Sage Colleges. Following the presidency of Kenneth Miller, Ph.D., Claire M. Lathers '69, Ph.D., was appointed as the new president and dean of ACP. In 1998, James J. Gozzo, Ph.D., became ACP's seventh leader and embarked on a dynamic plan for the future.
Going into the decade, ACP had three programs of study: the B.S. in Pharmacy, a joint B.S. in Pharmacy/M.S. in Health Systems Management offered in conjunction with the graduate school at Union College, and the new post-baccalaureate Pharm.D. option. Students who pursued the Pharm.D. after obtaining their B.S. in Pharmacy added an additional two years of didactic course work and clinical clerkships.
In 1996, the non-traditional Doctor of Pharmacy degree was added to allow practicing pharmacists to get a degree via a more flexible schedule and the use of computers.
One program that was missing in the 1990s was the B.S. in Medical Technology program, which had been offered as a two-year program that allowed students entering with an associate's degree in med tech to obtain their Bachelor's. By the early part of the decade, the degree had been phased out, bringing to an end a tenure of more than 50 years for the program at ACP.
In the early years of the decade, Dr. Miller was at the helm at the College with Joseph Lapetina and Albert M. White as associate deans of academic and student affairs, respectively. Tuition was $7,200 a year in the beginning of the '90s and room and board, in Alumni Hall, was $3,800.
Alumni Hall, near the intersection of Holland and Delaware avenues, was home to all non-commuting freshmen and had its own social life. An annual Thanksgiving dinner took place in the dorm on the Sunday after the holiday and was attended by returning freshmen as well as administrators and faculty.
After more than 60 years, the 1927 flagship building on New Scotland Avenue was starting to show its age and needed some extensive renovations and freshening up. In the spring of 1990 a new lecture hall, chemistry lab, faculty research lab and offices were dedicated, with plans to continue work on the facility throughout the decade.
Students continued to tick off their progress through the curriculum with parties that have set the traditions of today: the Half-Way, Four-Fifths and All the Way events all were firmly ensconced as a part of the social scene during the '90s. Also enjoyed were cruising down the Hudson for the "Fay's Excellent Adventure" on the Captain J.P., class trips to Lilly and Parke Davis, the Kappa Psi Halloween party and the annual champagne breakfast at Ralph's on the Park.
One big change that radically affected students at ACP came January 1, 1990, when the drinking age was raised to 21 in New York State. The College responded by adopting a "beer garden" approach for all venues where alcohol was served. Students had to show proof of age to get into a designated, fenced area at all school-sponsored events.
In addition, a Substance Abuse Committee was formed to sponsor alcohol-free alternatives for students both under and over 21. Party Smart, the High and Dry Weekend and movie nights all made their appearance during the decade.
Fraternal organizations also weighed in on alcohol abuse with activities such as LADD (Lambs Against Drunk Driving), sponsored by Phi Lambda Sigma. Kappa Epsilon, a brand new professional organization on campus, had a strict no-alcohol policy. The co-ed group sponsored activities such as ice cream socials and educational projects such as diabetes and cholesterol awareness, though they were limited due to the small size of group.
The Greeks still were an active presence on campus, with the Interfraternal Council sponsoring a Greek Weekend, complete with a semi-formal dance and a Toga Party, as well as an orientation picnic behind Alumni Hall. Other IFC events were the Sausage and Cheer Party, held for years in a backyard on Warren Street, and WAMPA (We Are Massive Party Animals), held at the Corning Preserve on the Hudson River. Students attending often were joined by graduates, faculty, family and friends who sported T-shirts em-blazoned with the party's name.
More serious frat activities included the Rho Pi Phi Poison Prevention project, Lambda Kappa Sigma's Project Hope (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere), Kappa Psi's blood drives and the Phi Delta Chi Drug Fair, which brought in pharmaceutical reps to discuss their products.
In the late '90s, the frats also took on an educational role on campus with the "Survival Series," presentations that each organization made to incoming freshman classes, including sessions on date rape, alcohol and drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and stress.
Though Greeks were on the rise and by 1997 constituted 28 percent of the student population at ACP, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding fraternities, hazing and pledging activities at the College. Frats were banned from going to Alumni Hall, the freshmen-only dorm, to invite new students or hang posters advertising their parties.
Professional organizations at ACP included a division of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Students of Pharmacy (APhA-ASP) that concentrated on community service, legislative action and fundraising. The American Chemical Society hosted dinner lectures on topics such as AIDS research and genetic engineering, and the New York State Council of Hospital Pharmacists student chapter also was active early on in the decade. There also were two honor societies, Rho Chi and Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society.
The Outing Club, Photo Club and Ski Club were reactivated during the decade and a new Music Club and Craft and Quilting Guild were launched. The International Cultural Awareness Club sponsored the popular International Festival of Nations with ethnic food, dances and music. Literary publications included Mortar and Pestle, Alembic Pharmakon and Another Creative Perspective , a journal featuring poetry, short stories, cartoons, photos and essays.
Sports included men's and women's soccer, with the women's team bringing home a Colonial Conference championship in 1992 and the Northern Independence Conference title in 1997 and '99. The men's soccer team also had a successful season in '97, scoring 10 wins, the most in ACP history at the time. Men's basketball was coached by Packy McGraw, but the women's basketball team struggled throughout most of the decade and even was disbanded temporarily in 1990, just five years after the 24-1 season of 1985-86, due to lack of participants. Other varsity sports included bowling, golf and cheerleading, while intramurals included bowling, volleyball and aerobics.
A period of administrative change initiated with Dr. Miller's departure in 1993.
Ronald W. McLean '51 was installed as interim president and kept the College on a steady course until the appointment of Dr. Lathers as president the following year. Her focus during the two years she led the College was on building up the research program to complement the curriculum already in place.
The middle of the decade brought one of the most exciting developments since the move to New Scotland Avenue with the establishment of the University Heights Association in 1995. Formed to benefit ACP and its three academic neighbors, all of which had needs for expanded facilities and enhanced services, UHA purchased the former home of the Christian Brothers Academy and the New York State Armory on New Scotland Avenue to create a 30-acre campus shared by all four colleges.
ACP was landlocked no more, setting the stage for the College's physical expansion plans at the dawn of the 21 st century.
In 1996, Bobby G. Bryant, Pharm.D., was named interim president while the College searched for a successor to Dr. Lathers. Dr. Bryant, chair of the Department of Pharmacy, guided ACP through the early years of UHA and was a stabilizing presence along with Dean White and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Howard D. Colby.
A new tradition was established at ACP during Dr. Bryant's tenure with the first White Coat Ceremony, which took place on October 10, 1997. The ceremony, which formally recognizes Pharmacy student's entry into the professional years of the curriculum, was very successful and, by the 1998-99 academic year, parents also were on hand to witness lab-coated students recite the Pledge of Professionalism.
In 1998, Dr. Gozzo came to Albany from Boston, where he had been dean of the Northeastern University Bouve College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and a prolific research scientist in immunology. Under his leadership, ACP prepared to embark on a dynamic growth plan in the new millennium.
The first decade of the new millennium was a time of exceptional growth and change. During this period, the College built or acquired eight buildings, including the addition of three on-campus residence halls, the construction of a brand new Student Center, and the opening of a new campus in Colchester, VT. A range of new degree programs were also introduced during this decade, leading to a new name for the institution - Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
The first decade of the new millennium was a time of exceptional growth for ACP (soon to be ACPHS) under the leadership of President James J. Gozzo., Ph.D.
In 2000, the College expanded for the first time into a second building – the former Christian Brothers Academy, located a short walk from the O'Brien Building. Also new this decade: the cutting-edge Pharmaceutical Research Institute, the addition of three on-campus residence halls, a spectacular Student Center, and a campus in Colchester, Vermont.
The decade also saw tremendous expansion in academic offerings as well.
ACP developed a variety of new programs during the decade to complement the Pharm.D. and diversify the academic environment. New additions were Bachelor of Science degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health and Human Sciences, and Biomedical Technology, in addition to a one-year certificate program in Cytotechnology. Master's programs in Pharmacy Administration and Health Outcomes Research also debuted in the 2000's.
Adding to the diversity of the academic programming were several joint degree offerings with local colleges and universities. In conjunction with Albany Medical College, a new Physician Assistant Studies option was added for the fall of 2006, allowing combined acceptance into ACP’s B.S. in Biomedical Technology and Albany Med’s Master’s-level PA program. Other new degree programs this decade included the joint B.S./J.D. 3+3 program with Albany Law School and an "Early Assurance" program for medical school with Albany Medical College.
In an effort to better reflect the broader range of academic programs now offered at the College, a decision was made to expand the name of the school to Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The new name became official on October 16, 2008.
As new programs were added around it, the pharmacy program continued to evolve. The mandated transition to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) meant that the last B.S. in Pharmacy degrees at ACP would be awarded in 2004. From that point forward, all pharmacy graduates of the College have earned a Pharm.D., now the entry level degree required to become a pharmacist in the United States.
ACP’s phenomenal physical growth during this decade kicked off with the $4 million renovation of the former Christian Brothers Academy building in 2000 to create the Classroom Building (now Library Building). This facility provided space for additional academic offices and classrooms, with the bottom floor housing a fitness center. That same year, the building's attached gymnasium opened. It would be rechristened the Albert M. White Gymnasium in October 2005 in honor of the beloved former associate dean of student affairs. Sadly, Dean White died in July 2006 at age 80.
The newest addition to ACP’s flagship O’Brien Building, the east wing housing the administrative and then-library facilities, received a new identity in November 2000 when it was named in honor of Rudolph H. Blythe ’31, who pioneered the technology for time-release capsules during a superlative career in pharmaceutical research.
Also that year, the College doubled the size of its library thanks to a generous gift from the foundation of the late George ’28 and Leona Lewis; the library now bears the Lewis’ name. That project also allowed the College to move the historic Throop Pharmacy Museum to a more prominent location at the top of the stairs at the main entrance to the O’Brien Building where it remains today.
ACP opened its cutting-edge Pharmaceutical Research Institute in 2003 in the former Bender Hygienic Laboratories on Samaritan Road, on the south edge of campus. Under the direction of Shaker A. Mousa, Ph.D., PRI focuses on research and development in drug discovery and delivery. At the end of 2006, the Institute was relocated to the University at Albany’s Health Sciences Campus in Rensselaer.
Though Alumni Hall (located on Holland Avenue) was still operating for freshmen at the beginning of the decade, the first-ever on-campus residence hall, Notre Dame Hall, opened in 2000, making way for upperclassmen to occupy Alumni Hall. By 2004, a second on-campus residence hall was added when the College purchased a facility on Samaritan Road from the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and established South Hall as a dorm for freshmen, eliminating the need for off-campus residence facilities. In 2007, the College acquired the former NYS Department of Transportation building located at 84 Holland Avenue and converted part of the building into apartment-style housing for upperclass students (Princeton and Holland Suites).
While students began the decade hanging out in the Panthers’ Den in the O’Brien Building for games of pool, darts and ping pong, a major addition to campus life, in fall 2006, was the ACP Student Center. At the heart of the expanding campus, the architecturally striking 54,000-square-foot facility was perhaps the signature achievement in the College's transformation from a one-building college to a vibrant, residential institution with an inviting, full-service campus.
In 2009, ACPHS opened a second campus in Colchester, Vermont, just outside the city of Burlington. Following nearly two years of planning, the Vermont Campus held its first classes on August 31, 2009, with 70 students in the inaugural class. The campus was, and still is, home to the only pharmacy program in the state. Longtime faculty member and administrator Bob Hamilton was named the new campus' inaugural dean.
ACPHS also underwent significant administrative changes in the ’00s, beginning when President Gozzo separated the roles of president and dean for the first time in the history of the College. Mary H. Andritz, Pharm.D., originally a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, returned to the College in 1999 as assistant dean for professional affairs. She was named dean in December of that year, just in time for the first semester of the new century.
Dr. Andritz was succeeded as dean by Mehdi Boroujerdi, Pharm.D., Ph.D., in 2006. He would soon revamp the academic structure of the College to include four academic departments instead of the previous three: Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Pharmacy Practice. The new structure teed up the College to further expand its academic programs in the decade to come.
As the health care system transitions to a more patient-centric model, the College is also changing to keep pace with the demand for new and expanded skill sets. Through new academic programs, building renovations, expanded co-curricular activities, and innovations such as our two student operated pharmacies, the College is working to ensure graduates who enter the workforce are "Beyond Practice Ready" - not just today, but for many years to come.
The dawn of a new decade did not stem the momentum begun in the 2000’s as the College continued to invest in its physical plant at the same time it sought to further diversify its academic programs and institute a new academic structure.
The first year of the new decade saw the launch of two new master’s degree programs: Biotechnology (which would later evolve into Molecular Biosciences) and Cytotechnology & Molecular Cytology. Additional programs would continue to be introduced throughout the next several years including B.S. in Microbiology (2013), M.S. in Clinical Laboratory Sciences (2013), and B.S. in Public Health (2016).
The summer of 2010 also saw the Lewis Library relocated to the first two floors of the newly renovated Classroom Building (now appropriately called the Library Building). The move was driven in large part by the growing enrollment at the College and the need for additional study space. Mission accomplished. Study spaces increased from 211 to 298 as the square footage of the library grew from 9,500 sq. ft. to 13,000 sq. ft. Additional study space was also now available in the new “Princeton Classrooms,” a five-classroom, nine-study-room space located on the lower level of Princeton Suites.
While the Robison Dining Hall did not change in size, it did receive a makeover in 2010, the first since the Student Center opened in 2006. The dining hall went from 200 seats and five service venues to 280 seats and seven service venues. The new configuration also allowed for a wider range of seating options to better accommodate individuals, small, and large groups.
Similar enhancements were made to the Vermont Campus’ library and dining hall as the campus effectively doubled in size upon welcoming its second incoming class of students in fall 2010.
For the start of the 2011-12 academic year, the College introduced a new academic structure featuring four schools: School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Graduate Studies (the School of Health Sciences would later be merged into the School of Arts and Sciences). Then Provost Mehdi Boroujerdi said at the time, “By reorganizing in this manner, the College is positioning itself to become a more comprehensive institution in the future.”
Additional academic changes this year included offering the Master’s program in Pharmaceutical Sciences on the Vermont Campus (it had previously only been available in Albany) and the debut of the ACPHS Research Forum. The Forum continues to be an annual showcase to highlight research at the College and help facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty and students.
Student Life flourished throughout the decade with the advent of new clubs and professional organizations and the continued success of the ACPHS athletics teams. The ACPHS chapter of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), one of the fastest growing and most successful clubs on campus, reached a zenith in 2011 when it was named Outstanding Chapter of the Year by the CAC national organization. ACPHS beat out nearly 500 chapters from across the country for the honor.
Much needed renovations to the ACPHS track and field were undertaken in summer 2011, and by fall of that year, the men’s and women’s soccer teams had a brand new, synthetic turf field on which to play. The companion track not only provided a top quality surface for walking and running, but it would help pave the way for the addition of a fourth intercollegiate sport – men’s and women’s track and field – which would debut in the 2014-15 academic year.
In 2012, the College joined the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) in order to provide student athletes and teams with more opportunities to compete for national tournaments and awards. The decision proved to be a good one when the ACPHS women’s basketball team won the 2013 USCAA Division II title, the first national championship in the College’s history!
That was not the only national honor the College received during the decade. In 2015, the Brookings Institution issued a report that measured the impact of colleges on their students’ outcomes. Brookings examined 3,173 two-and-four-year institutions and calculated that ACPHS was the #1 value-added college in the country!
In the spring of 2013, President Gozzo announced that he would be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year, after 16 years at the helm of the school. A national search was begun immediately to find his successor, and that effort concluded on December 3, 2013, when Greg Dewey, Ph.D., was introduced as just the ninth president of the College. Dr. Dewey, who was most recently Provost at the University of La Verne in California, assumed his new role on July 1, 2014.
On December 1, 2015, nearly two years to the day of his introduction as president, Dr. Dewey kicked off the Beyond Practice Ready (BPR) fundraising campaign. In announcing the initiative, he said, “Professionals today need to have the skills required to anticipate, and adapt to, the evolving needs of their chosen fields. In other words, they must be able to go beyond practice ready. Each of the components of this campaign will prepare them to do just that.”
The signature piece of the BPR campaign was the launch of two “student operated” pharmacies to be located in medically underserved areas of the region. The first of the two pharmacies – College Hometown Pharmacy – opened in 2016 at the Hometown Health Centers clinic on State Street in Schenectady. College Parkside Pharmacy followed in 2017, located on Warren Street in Albany’s South End, less than two miles from the Albany Campus.