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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

College of Pharmacy celebrates historic founding

Students, faculty and administrators gather Feb. 23 in the ARC at the UCity campus for a lunch reception as part of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s annual Founding Day celebration. PHOTO: RICHARD SLATOWSKI ’25/THE HAWK

St. Joe’s Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) honored its founding with a celebration Feb. 23 on the University City campus.

Students, faculty and administrators gathered in the Athletic/Recreation Center (ARC) for a lunch reception as part of the annual Founder’s Day celebration. The event featured food, free St. Joe’s College of Pharmacy T-shirts and a photo booth.

Rena Cuneo ’23, PharmD. ’25, who attended the event with friends, said she enjoyed the day’s focus on the pharmacy school.

“I feel like it gives us our own special time and day that’s all about us,” Cuneo said.

The first and oldest pharmacy school in North America, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy was founded in 1821 by a group of 68 apothecaries or pharmacists. The group met in Carpenters’ Hall in Center City Philadelphia, a historic building that was also the site of the First Continental Congress in 1774.

In 1876, the school became known as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences. In 1998, it became a part of the University of the Science. In 2022, USciences merged with St. Joe’s.

“The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s reputation and legacy will be stewarded through the continued use of its name and identity,” wrote then St. Joe’s Provost Cheryl A. McConnell, Ph.D., and USciences Provost Dr. Jill Baren in a Sept. 8, 2021, university announcement regarding the merger.

Cuneo said the celebration was especially important and that the merger has expanded opportunities to network and make connections.

“I feel like our curriculum is still the same, and our professors are always willing to help us out when we need them,” Cuneo said. “And, our rotations give us a foundation to what we committed to in the first place, and we keep that going despite all the changes.”

Adeboye Adejare, Ph.D., professor of pharmaceutical sciences, who also attended the afternoon reception, said it was important that the pharmacy school’s “brand” be maintained.

“The PCP brand needs to continue forever,” Adejare said. “As the first school of pharmacy in the nation, it’s where a lot of the pillars of the pharmaceutical industry went to school.”

Later in the day, a celebration was held at the Integrated Professional Education Complex (IPEX) with 135 faculty, students, administrators and PCP alumni in attendance. Students gave tours of the campus, and attendees were given crimson lapel pins labeled “Saint Joseph’s University,” “PCP” and the founding year, “1821.”

At the evening reception and ceremony, Jack Korbutov, PharmD. ’11, received the PCP Young Alumni Award, a new award created to honor a graduate in the past 15 years who has shown outstanding promise in their field.

A second award recipient was a former Philadelphia College of Pharmacy dean and professor, Daniel Hussar, PCPS’62,’64 MS, ’67 Ph.D. Hussar received the William Procter Jr. Award, which is given to someone who shows the entrepreneurial spirit of the school’s founders.

Tom Fifthian ’98, ’07 MBA, executive director of alumni relations and annual giving, said the event provided St. Joe’s with an opportunity to send an important message to those connected to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

“We are going to continue to honor traditions and history and welcome folks back,” Fithian said.

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