Pharmacy Historical Information - page 3


In 1955, the designation, College of Pharmacy, was changed to Division of Pharmacy to conform to the organizational structure of the institution as established by the president and board of control.   When construction was completed on the new Science Building in the following year, the Division of Pharmacy moved into these quarters.   The same year, Dean Wilson, whose leadership through this perilous period had done so much to ensure success, resigned to accept a similar position at Northeast Louisiana State College of Pharmacy, Mr. Clark A. Andreson, as acting dean, directed the activities of the school until the following year, when Dr. Edward P. Claus (1955-70) assumed the leadership.

In 1961 the Division of Pharmacy was redesignated the School of Pharmacy.   Two years later, by an act of the Michigan state legislature, Ferris Institute was renamed Ferris State College, effective July 1, 1963.

Throughout these years enrollment in the School of Pharmacy continued to climb steadily and, by 1959, Ferris, with an undergraduate pharmacy enrollment of 489, ranked fourth among the 76 accredited pharmacy schools in the country.   In accordance with the requirements for accreditation as set forth by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education, all students entering the School of Pharmacy at Ferris after April 1, 1960, were enrolled in the five-year curriculum.


After a delay of several years due to political objectors who felt that the scope for clinical practice was too limited in Big Rapids, the new Pharmacy Building was dedicated in 1972.   Dr. Richard Ohvall, School of Pharmacy Dean from 1971-76, presided over the building dedication, and was responsible for initiating the successful decentralized clinical program and a major curriculum revision in 1972.   With the departure of Dean Ohvall to Oregon State, Mr. Ron Nickel was appointed acting dean until Dr. Ian Mathison was selected as the dean.

Ian Mathison served as dean of the College of Pharmacy from 1977-2011.   Dr. Mathison's interest in pharmacy history resulted in the establishment in 1984 of the Historical Pharmacy, a place honoring the rich heritage of the profession and serving as an appropriate display area for the many gifts from alumni and donors.   Also during this period, a detailed study of the Pharm.D. degree and a major curriculum revision of the bachelor s degree resulting in recommendations for an expanded clerkship/externship component and a limited Pharm.D. program were completed.   Both of these recommendations were implemented with the first Pharm.D. class being admitted in the fall of 1990.   In addition to these changes, a college-wide commitment to research and service activities resulted in the development, by faculty members, of several active research programs both on and off campus, as well as an increase in the number and scope of service activities, particularly by the off-campus faculty.   Alumni interest in and support of the College is at an all-time high as evidenced by both financial and professional contributions.   Graduates are providing valuable service to the College through active involvement in the alumni board and participation in the College s strategic planning efforts and curriculum revision activities.

Further name changes occurred in 1987 when Ferris State College became Ferris State University and in 1990 when the School of Pharmacy once again became the College of Pharmacy.   The College of Pharmacy embarked on its most ambitious programmatic changed in 2000 when the offering of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree as the sole professional degree occurred.   This conversion to a four-year professional curriculum with patient care integrated throughout the curriculum necessitated significant curricular changes.   The construction of educational facilities in both Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo enabled the third and fourth year students to optimize the application of the didactic curriculum components in patient-care settings.  In 2011 Dr. Stephen Durst became dean of the College.  Soon after, the new Grand Rapids location was opened bringing together all of the third year students in one location in the 25 Michigan building located in what is known as the Medical Mile.  Ferris students are able to interact with a diverse group of medical disciplines be being in the heart of one of the most dynamic medical communities in the region.

Today, the Ferris State University College of Pharmacy is justly proud of the achievements of the past.   Ferris has established and maintained a reputation for quality and competence through the performance of its graduates.   The many and varied positions of responsibility in industry, education, community, and institutional pharmacy, now being occupied by Ferris Pharmacy graduates clearly attest to the College's continuing interest in the various facets of the profession and the quality of its educational program.


Pharmacy in the 21 st Century

Ferris State University continues to have the largest College of Pharmacy of the three in Michigan and graduates consistently have 97-100% national board exam pass rates and are consistently above the national pass rate.

The pharmacy program at Ferris has enjoyed an exceptional reputation both within the state and throughout the nation for over a century.   Our graduates have distinguished themselves throughout the pharmacy profession by their intellectual and professional diligence as a result of the practice emphasis of our curriculum.

Portions of this History section are from an article in the 1965 Michigan Pharmacist written by LeRoy D. Beltz, former professor of Pharmacy.

More History: Pharmacy become a keystone