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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 over 60 years, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has been training health care professionals who are problem-solvers, innovators and leaders. 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.

President Robert Burns '31, PhD, establishing a precedent for innovation at Pacific. This spirit of risk-taking led him to consider opening a school of pharmacy when Emerson Cobb, PhD approached him with the idea. They consulted local pharmacy owners to assess the need for a pharmacy school in the Central Valley. The proposition of establishing what would be the third pharmacy school in California was met with overwhelming enthusiasm and support.

To make this daring dream into 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. President Burns recruited Ivan W. Rowland, PhD, to be the inaugural dean. In turn, Dean Rowland gathered a core group of founding faculty, bringing with him several faculty members from Idaho State University. In addition to teaching and applying for the accreditation that would be essential to the survival of the School, they established chapters of professional organizations, setting a standard for scholarly achievement and health care outreach.

The School's alumni have grown from an inaugural class of 16 students to a total of 12,290 alumni. Throughout our history, individualized, faculty-led experiential learning programs, combined with the support of a powerful alumni network, have led to student success.

The Move to North Campus

In 1960, only a year after the first graduating class of pharmacy students, the School reached peak enrollment. Dean Rowland began to search in earnest for the space and funds for a new building. The Edward and Alice Long Memorial Hall was completed in 1969. In 1970, the School initiated the first accelerated, three-year trimester pharmacy program in the nation.

Speech-Language Pathology

The history of what is today known as the Department of Speech-Language Pathology dates back to 1936. Early on, the program added a graduate level degree and they celebrated their first graduate in 1947. In 1995, the program added a semester for a full-time medical-based externship. In 1973, the program received accreditation from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has been continuously accredited since that time.

In 1997, the Department of Speech-Language Pathology became a part of the School of Pharmacy. Also during that year, the program was transformed through a partnership with the local Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center. This ongoing partnership has provided additional training space for students and dramatically increased the number of patients that could be seen at the Center.

Physical Therapy

The Department of Physical Therapy was established in 1985 within the School of Pharmacy. Graduates from the program earned a master of science in physical therapy and the department saw its first graduating class in 1988. Foreseeing that physical therapists would have greater autonomy in clinical practice, the program transitioned to a doctor of physical therapy degree in 2003.  

A New Name

In 2001, 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.   The Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics opened in 2003, providing much-needed classroom, lecture and clinical space. Renovations were completed this year, adding additional classrooms, offices and study spaces.  


In 2015, the School launched a doctor of audiology (AuD) program. Located on the San Francisco campus, Pacific's program is the first accelerated AuD program in California.