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Our History

Duquesne University School of Pharmacy 1925

-SC Morrison

For over the past three-quarters of a century, the School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University has been led by only six deans. Each dean’s tenure closely paralleled major changes in pharmacy education, pharmacy as a profession, and pharmacy practice. (1)

During the thirty years (1925-1955) of founding Dean Hugh C. Muldoon’s leadership, the dominance of independent community pharmacy, the emergence of hospital pharmacy, and the implementation of the four-year bachelor’s degree in pharmacy which adhered to the tradition of a comprehensive university education, were essential developments in pharmacy at Duquesne and nationally.

Tensions within community and hospital pharmacy practice, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry, and the somewhat controversial move to a five-year baccalaureate which incorporated liberal education in a predominately pharmaceutical sciences curriculum, characterized the short term (1955-1961) of John G. Adams, Ph.D., as the second Duquesne pharmacy school dean.

Dean John S. Ruggiero, Ph.D., led the school during a period (1961-1970) in which the integration of clinical pharmacy and elective options into the five-year B.S. in Pharmacy curriculum and the relocation of the pharmacy school from Canevin Hall to the fourth floor of the new campus science building Mellon Hall for improved classroom, faculty and research facilities, were critical developments.

As dean (1970-1981), Bruce D. Martin, Ph.D., oversaw a substantial increase of pharmacy school student enrollment and of faculty numbers and the creation of a competency-based, outcomes-oriented curriculum which balanced the pharmaceutical sciences with the clinical, social, behavioral and administrative sciences and integrated a controlled experiential education component.

During the lengthy deanship (1981-1998) of Douglas H. Kay, Ph.D., the faculty addressed the move toward the pharmaceutical care model in pharmacy education, practice and the implementation of the six-year professional doctoral degree program which would be a requirement for pharmacist licensure by the early 21st century.

From 1998, Dean R. Pete Vanderveen, Ph.D., and the faculty have continued to evaluate, revise and update the competency-based, outcomes-oriented Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, to enhance physical and fiscal resources, and to develop new initiatives to address the challenges and potentialities in the ever-changing pharmacy practice and health care environment.

(1) The major developments in pharmacy in the 20th century have been outlined in several recent publications by pharmacy historian Gregory J. Higby, Ph.D., American Institute of the History of Pharmacy.

Highlights in the History of the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy:

School of Pharmacy founded with Hugh C. Muldoon, D.Sc., as first Dean with first floor of Canevin Hall as first home of Duquesne University School of Pharmacy Student Pharmaceutical Association Organized


First School of Pharmacy graduating class of 28 members


School of Pharmacy recognized as full member of AACP (initial accreditation)


Tau Chapter of Lambda Kappa Sigma chartered


Four-year baccalaureate degree in pharmacy required for graduation


Alpha Beta Chapter of Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society founded


Student American Pharmaceutical Association chapter organized


Duquesne University Pharmacy Alumni Association established


First Master of Science degree granted


John G. Adams, Ph.D., named Dean to succeed retiring Dean Muldoon


Five-year BS in Pharmacy degree program inaugurated
Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Chi chartered


John S. Ruggiero, Ph.D., becomes third Dean on resignation of Dean Adams


Delta Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Psi chartered


Post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy program inaugurated
School of Pharmacy relocated to fourth floor of new Mellon Hall of Science


First post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy degree granted


Bruce D. Martin named Dean (after one year as Acting Dean) following
resignation of Dean Ruggiero


First Doctor of Philosophy degree awarded


School of Pharmacy celebrates 50th Anniversary


Eta Chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma Pharmacy Leadership Society chartered


Douglas H. Kay named fifth Dean as Dean Martin moves to University
academic affairs administration


Competency-based, outcomes-oriented curriculum for Bachelor of Science
in Pharmacy implemented


Required Chemical Dependency program for School of Pharmacy students


Student chapter of National Community Pharmacists Association recognized


Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences established
HEART organization recognized


Faculty collaboration/exchange agreement between School of Pharmacy and Kobe-Gakuin University School of Pharmacy


Student chapter of Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists organized


Non-traditional post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy and BS in Pharmacy/Pharm.D. tracking programs implemented
Entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy degree program approved


First pre-Pharmacy class for entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy enrolled


Elizabeth Hata Tablet Press for School manufacturing pharmacy lab dedicated


School of Pharmacy outreach programs to Pittsburgh Public Schools initiated BS in Pharmacy/BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences/MS/PhD (Pharmaceutical Sciences) and BS in Pharmacy/MBA tracks revised for entry-level Pharm.D. Dedication of Pharmacy Computer and Resource Center

Faculty collaboration/exchange agreement between School of Pharmacy and School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Beijing Medical University (PRC) Pharmaceutical Information Center opened


R. Pete Vanderveen, Ph.D., named Dean on retirement of Dean Kay Non-traditional on-line Doctor of Pharmacy program started


Alpha Phi Chapter of Kappa Epsilon chartered
Student chapter of Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy organized Administrative, student services, and some faculty offices of School of Pharmacy relocated to Bayer Learning Center Last post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy degree granted


First entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy class graduates
School of Pharmacy celebrates 75th Anniversary
Revised MS in Pharmacy Administration program of study implemented Dean’s Advisory Council formed First Pharmacy Management Concentration Certificates granted to Doctor of Pharmacy graduates


ASP-sponsored Pharmacy Week instituted
Student National Pharmaceutical Association organization revitalized First Pharmacy professional elective courses offered on European campuses during summerSchool of Pharmacy-supported community pharmacy residencies established Last Nuclear Pharmacy Concentration Certificates granted to Pharmacy graduates


First White Coat ceremony to recognize progression of Pharmacy students into professional phase of Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum
First Geriatric Concentration/Certificates granted to Doctor of Pharmacy graduates


Pharmaceutical Research Concentration/Certificate implemented Center for Pharmaceutical Technology established Center for Pharmacy Care (encompassing community outreach wellness programs) created
Center for Pharmacy Practice (former Pharmacy Practice Laboratory) renovated and enhanced