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Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Admissions
Office of the Dean
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

History of the School

A Daring Dream Becomes a Reality

For 60 years the school has been preparing students for careers in pharmacy and the health sciences. The School was shaped into what it is today by the hard work, dedication and support of its charismatic faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. What we know today as the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences all started with a daring dream.

President Robert Burns '31, PhD in his inaugural address in 1947 declared that the university must "pioneer or perish," establishing a precedent for innovation. This spirit of risk-taking led President Burns to consider opening a school of pharmacy when Emerson Cobb, PhD approached him with the idea. Dr. Cobb had a dream to expand the Department of Chemistry, which only had 15 students when he became the department chair in 1948. He believed that since chemistry was an  essential component to pharmacy, establishing a pharmacy school at Pacific would help grow the chemistry department. President Burns tasked Dr. Cobb with consulting with pharmacists in the community in order to assess the need for a pharmacy school in the Central Valley.

There were only two pharmacy schools in California at that time, at University of Southern California (USC) and at University of California, San Francisco. The proposition of establishing a third pharmacy school was met with overwhelming enthusiasm by the owners of local pharmacies who had found it incredibly difficult to attract graduates away from urban areas and to cities in central California. One such pharmacy owner was J. Martin Winton '62, DPA. His compelling appeal for creating a pharmacy school at Pacific resulted in unanimous approval at the Northern California Pharmaceutical Association Convention in 1954.

To make this daring dream a reality would require the leadership of a dean who would have the vision to see past the bare light bulbs and limited space of Weber Hall. Many of the pharmacists Dr. Cobb had spoken with were alumni of Idaho State University and they recommended Ivan W. Rowland, PhD who was the current dean of the School of Pharmacy at that university. Dean Rowland was reluctant to leave his thriving program and dedicated faculty. President Burns was known for his persistence and he took a direct approach with Dean Rowland, writing a brash letter challenging Dean Rowland to leave the comfort of his university and test himself as a leader.

With the first classes already scheduled, President Burns took a gamble waiting for Dean Rowland's acceptance. It was a risk that would reap rewards beyond even President Burns' high expectations. Dean Rowland accepted the position and brought with him a core group of faculty.

One of those who came to Pacific with Dean Rowland was Emmons E. Roscoe, RPh, MS who was the school's first pharmacy professor. A former dean, Professor Roscoe's wisdom was crucial during the developmental years. Carl Riedesel, PhD served as the assistant dean and taught a number of pharmacy courses. Cisco Kihara '61, MS was in charge of the lectures and labs of the introductory pharmaceutics courses. In 1961 Professor Kihara became the school's first master's program graduate when she earned a master of science in physiology-pharmacology. Ina Pearson was a librarian who was tasked with creating a library for the school from a very limited budget. The founding faculty also included Donald Y. Barker, PhD who came from the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada to teach dispensing pharmacy and industrial pharmacy. In addition to teaching classes and working to earn the accreditation that would be essential to the survival of the school, the faculty worked diligently to establish chapters of professional organizations, setting a standard for scholarly achievement and community outreach.

The first class was held in February 1955 in Weber Hall. When Dean Rowland arrived on campus, Dr. Cobb ceremoniously handed the class over to him. In June 1959, the school had a graduating class of 16 students, 15 men and one woman, all of whom passed the State Board exam. That same year the program received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, from whom the program has been continuously accredited.

The Beginnings of the Speech-Language Pathology Program

The history of what is today known as the Department of Speech-Language Pathology dates back to 1936 when Roy C. McCall, PhD and Velma Hooper McCall joined the faculty of the College of the Pacific. They taught the first courses in communicative disorders, what today is known as speech language pathology (SLP). By 1939, a new major in speech correction was added within the Department of Dramatic Art, Public Speaking and Speech. Dr. McCall established the University Speech and Hearing Center in 1946 and served as its first director.

From the outset, the intention was for the program to be developed into a graduate level program. The first master's program graduate was William Owen Pugh '47, MA who completed his thesis in 1947. In 1948 Howard L. Runion, PhD became the department chair. During his tenure, Dr. Runion expanded the center, made possible by the fundraising efforts of President Burns and through collaboration with the psychology and education departments.

The profession saw a notable change in 1949 for those who intended to work in a public school when the speech correction credential was established. The speech-language pathology program achieved departmental status in 1972 under the direction of Kenneth Perrin, PhD. In 1973 the program received accreditation from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, from whom the program has been continuously accredited.

The Move to North Campus

In 1960, only a year after the first graduating class of pharmacy students, the school made the remarkable achievement of reaching peak enrollment of 250 pharmacy students. Dean Rowland began to search in earnest for the space and funds for a new building. In 1969 the Edward and Alice Long Memorial Hall was completed on schedule. The $4.2 million facility exceeded the original estimate and in order to complete construction the university secured a loan for the balance of $1 million. Brothers Thomas and Joseph Long gave personal gifts in an amount equal to the debt. The building was named in honor of their parents.

In 1970 Ralph Saroyan '64, RPh became the first Director of Student Affairs and the first coordinator of the Preceptor-Intern Program. Tasked with coordinating 55 preceptor sites, he brought in Greg Matzen '71, RPh to assist with externship placements. Also during that year the school initiated the first accelerated, 3-year trimester pharmacy program in the nation. Another component of the doctor of pharmacy program was the decentralized Clinical Clerkship program. Established under the direction of James C. King, PhD the Clinical Clerkship program placed students in practice sites throughout California and Hawaii. When Lt. Col. William Christopherson Jr., PhD joined the pharmacy faculty in the late 1970s he was instrumental in creating partnerships with VA hospitals as sites for student training.

Developments in the SLP Program

In 1977, leadership of the SLP program came under the direction of Roy J. Timmons, PhD who served as department chair. A year later the University Speech and Hearing Center received a major donation from the Irvine Foundation. Located on the south campus the center included 15 clinic rooms for supervised clinical experience, making it the largest university speech and hearing center in California. In 1987 leadership was turned over to Virginia Puich, MS who served as the department chair until her retirement in 1993. Robert E. Hanyak '79, AuD became the next department chair - his creativity and entrepreneurial approach have transformed the SLP program. Another key figure that has shaped the program into what it is today is Simalee Smith-Stubblefield '83, MA, CCC-SLP who served as department chair from 2000 to 2005. Through Professor Smith-Stubblefield's leadership Pacific's Speech-Language Pathology Alumni Association was formed. In 1995, the program added a semester for a full-time medical-based externship, taking the duration of the program from 12 months to 15 months. Dr. Hanyak once again stepped into the role of department chair.

Changes in Leadership

Dean Rowland retired in 1980 and Louis C. Martinelli, PharmD, PhD was appointed dean. He was followed by Warren J. Schneider, PhD, DVM in 1983. In 1984 Robert "Bob" Supernaw '72, PharmD was named acting dean. He again served as an interim dean in 1995 until the appointment of Dean Oppenheimer. In November 1984 Donald L. Sorby, PhD, was named dean. Dean Sorby provided the School with much-needed stability, allowing faculty and staff to forge strong partnerships, develop alumni relations and solidify critical components of the curriculum.

The Addition of Health Sciences

The Department of Physical Therapy was established in 1985 within the School of Pharmacy and Jean I. Baldwin, PhD was appointed its founding chair. Graduates from the program earned a master of science in physical therapy and the department saw its first graduating class in 1988. That year the program received full accreditation from the American Physical Therapy Association, from whom the program has been continuously accredited. Upon Dr. Baldwin's retirement, in 1992 Carolyn Hultgren, MPH, PT was named department chair. A post-professional master of science for practicing physical therapists degree was added and the first class of graduates was in 1997. This degree was designed for those who held a bachelor's degree in physical therapy and were seeking an advanced degree.

In 1997 the Department of Communicative Disorders, which two years later would be renamed the Department of Speech- Language Pathology, became a part of the School of Pharmacy. It was also during that year that the program was transformed through a partnership with the local Scottish Rite. This ongoing partnership has provided additional training space for students and dramatically increased the number of patients that could be seen at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Center. In 1997 Phillip R. Oppenheimer, PharmD was named dean. Coming from USC where he had been a faculty member for 24 years and an associate dean, Dean Oppenheimer brought to his role a wealth of experience and a forward-thinking mindset. The school was renamed in 1998 by the Regents and became the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, reflecting the additions of the physical therapy and speech-language pathology programs. In 2000 the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and the Speech, Hearing and Language Center moved to North Campus. The school again saw its name change in 2001 when The Regents accepted a $13 million grant from the Thomas J. Long Foundation and renamed the School the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. This naming honored a financial commitment of more than $20 million donated by the foundation and the Long family.

Transition to the Doctor of Physical Therapy

In 2001 Darcy Umphred, PhD, PT was named Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy when Professor Hultgren retired. Two years later, having insight that the profession of physical therapy was requiring greater autonomy in clinical practice, Pacific was first in California to offer a transitional DPT (tDPT) and the second program to offer the entry-level DPT. Upon Dr. Umphred's retirement in 2003 Cathy Peterson, PT, EdD was named Department Chair. Dr. Peterson served until 2011 when she began preparations for her work in Malawi as a Fulbright Scholar. Christine R. Wilson, PT, PhD was named Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in 2011. Upon Dr. Wilson's retirement in 2014, Sandra Reina-Guerra '97, '99, '03, PT, DPT, PCS was named chair.

New Facilities

The Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics opened in 2003, providing much-needed classroom, lecture and clinical space for physical therapy, speech-language pathology, dental hygiene and dentistry. It was later renamed the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics, reflecting the Chan Family's many contributions. In 2004, through the generosity of the Hedco Foundation, the Hedco Audiology Suite was established at the Stockton campus. In 2005 a pharmaceutical care lab was created and dedicated to Donald Y. Barker, PhD who during his tenure at Pacific taught and mentored thousands of students.

Pharmacy Program Developments

The Mobile Medicare Part D free clinics were launched in 2007, spearheaded by Rajul Patel '01, '06 PharmD, PhD. The clinics help beneficiaries evaluate their options and select a plan to save money on their medications. As of 2014, students have volunteered 12,592 hours and served 3,665 individuals, saving them over $3.3 million. The school also expanded the number of degrees offered, creating more opportunities for students pursuing a career in the pharmacy profession. A doctor of pharmacy/master of business administration dual-degree program was established as well as a doctor of pharmacy-doctor of philosophy dual-degree. In 2010, in collaboration with Alliance Institute, Hyderabad, India a master of science in industrial pharmaceutics was instituted, followed by a bachelor of applied science degree in 2013. The school launched the new combined master of science in pharmaceutical sciences and fellowship in pharmacy practice in 2013.

Doctor of Audiology

In 2014 the university announced the approval of a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program, the only accelerated program of its kind in California. Rupa Balachandran, PhD was hired as the first audiology program director to oversee completion of facility construction and recruit the inaugural class for fall 2015. In 2015 The Audiology Clinic on the San Francisco campus began treating patients, providing audiology and hearing aid services through patient visits and community outreach events. The inaugural White Coat Ceremony in September 2015 marked the launch of the Doctor of Audiology program.