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History of the School

A Daring Dream Becomes a Reality

For over 65 years, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy 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. Throughout our history, individualized, faculty-led experiential learning programs, combined with the support of a powerful alumni network, have led to student success.

President Robert Burns ’31, PhD, established a precedent for innovation at Pacific. This spirit of risk-taking led him to establishing the third pharmacy school in California. To make this daring dream into a reality required the leadership of a visionary dean who could 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. Early on, the founding faculty established fraternities and student chapters of professional organizations; setting a standard for scholarly achievement, health care outreach and networking.

The Move to North Campus

By 1960, the School had 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. A year later the School initiated the first accelerated, three-year trimester pharmacy program in the nation.

Health Sciences

The history of what is today known as the Department of Speech-Language Pathology dates back to 1936. The program added a graduate level degree and they celebrated their first graduate in 1947. In 1997, the program was transformed through a partnership with the California Scottish Rite Foundation. The RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Stockton provides additional training space for Pacific students and the partnership has dramatically increased the number of patients that could be seen at the Center.

The Department of Physical Therapy was established in 1985. In 2003, foreseeing that physical therapists would have greater autonomy in clinical practice, the program transitioned from a master of science to a doctor of physical therapy.

In 2003, the Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center and Clinics opened, providing much-needed classroom, lecture and clinical space. Renovations were completed in 2018, adding additional classrooms, offices and study spaces.

In 2015, Pacific launched the first accelerated doctor of audiology program in California. In 2018, the School welcomed the first cohort of the master of science and athletic training program.

A New Chapter

In 2019, Pacific launched the School of Health Sciences, which will house nine distinct, yet collaborative health care programs: Athletic Training, Audiology, Clinical Nutrition, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant Studies, Social Work and Speech-Language Pathology. The School has been renamed the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, home to the Pre-Pharmacy Advantage Program, Doctor of Pharmacy Program and Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences Program. The School’s name recognizes more than $20 million of support from the Thomas J. Long Foundation and the Long family over the course of the School’s history.