People Who Changed the Course of STLCOP
St. Louis College of Pharmacy owes its success over the past 150 years to the vision, hard work and sheer dedication of many people. Here, we profile pioneers who changed the course of this institution, but the college owes its rich history to so many more.
Byron A. Barnes graduated from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1951 and earned his Master of Science (1953) and doctorate degrees (1954) in pharmacology from the University of Florida. For three years he taught at the United States Air Force School of Aviation Medicine before joining the St. Louis College of Pharmacy faculty as assistant professor of pharmacology in 1957. Barnes became a consultant to the Veteran’s Administration and to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. He also was a lifelong proponent of continuing education for pharmacists by correspondence courses, which he initiated in 1964.
During his illustrious career, Barnes was a Fellow of the American Foundation of Pharmaceutical Education. He was a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Society of Sigma Phi, the Phi Sigma Biological Society, and the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. After serving as division director of biological sciences, he was promoted to dean of the College in 1970, a position he held until his retirement in 1989. The Board of Trustees honored Barnes’ dedication to the College in 1999 by naming several employee service awards after him. Every year at the Annual Employee Luncheon in May, the College now hands out the Byron A. Barnes Awards—Enhancement Award, Staff Achievement Award, and Student Enrichment Award—for outstanding service to the College.
After his retirement, Barnes served on the College’s Board of Trustees until his death on Feb. 24, 2004.
As St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s longest-serving faculty member, Evelyn Becker, B.S. ’88, Pharm.D. ’93, has spent her entire 44-year career at the College. The child of German-Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany, Becker was born and raised in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the City College of New York in 1967 and received a grant to pursue a master’s degree in biology from Washington University. As a condition of the grant, Becker taught a biology lab while a graduate student.
In 1970, after earning her first graduate degree, she answered a job advertisement posted in Washington University’s old biology building for a St. Louis College of Pharmacy biology lab instructor. She accepted the position and went on to become a full biology professor at the College.
Over the course of her distinguished career, Becker has been a three-time recipient of the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Educator Award. Becker was also the first faculty member to enroll as a student while maintaining a full teaching schedule. She earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1988 and a doctor of pharmacy degree in 1993. She worked as a pharmacy consultant for long-term care nursing homes and served as president of the Missouri chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.
She has always been active in campus life, organizing groups such as Knit ’n Nosh (students who knit hats for chemotherapy patients). Becker was also the longtime advisor for the College's chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association and, for years, she has promoted diversity at the College by organizing an event for faculty, staff and students to enjoy food from many of the cultures represented on campus. As the faculty’s senior member, Becker serves as the Grand Marshal every year at Commencement.
Doris Bryson was one of the first African-American female graduates from St. Louis College of Pharmacy. After graduating from Vashon High School, Bryson attended Drake University and joined Lambda Kappa Sigma. After Drake, she came to St. Louis College of Pharmacy and graduated in 1957. Bryson then accepted a position at Rhodes Pharmacy—a popular pharmacy among the African-American community and medical professionals. She later worked at 300 S. Grand, known as the Teamster Pharmacy, for many years and then retired from Malcolm Bliss Mental Hospital.
In 2013, Bryson received the Black Heritage Distinguished Alumni Award from the College’s Alumni Association.
The College may not have survived the Great Depression if not for Charles Edward Caspari, dean of the College from 1926 to 1942. Caspari, known to his friends as “Cas,” was the son of Charles Caspari Jr., who served as dean of the Maryland College of Pharmacy and as executive secretary of the American Pharmaceutical Association for 25 years.
The younger Caspari grew up in Baltimore and earned a doctorate in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and, after a stint at Columbia University in New York, joined the St. Louis College of Pharmacy faculty in 1903. He succeeded Henry Milton Whelpley as dean in 1926.
During Caspari’s years as dean, the College built its permanent home at Euclid Avenue and Parkview Place, and the College’s curriculum expanded to better prepare students for the growing complexities and advances in American pharmacy.
The Great Depression took its toll on the College and, by 1941, its debts had mounted to over $100,000. Caspari worked tirelessly with the Board of Trustees and the College’s donors to pay off the debt. Despite the long hours he worked during this time, Caspari refused to accept any of his salary as dean. During the most difficult financial times, he often made substantial contributions from his own personal savings to keep the College running.
Caspari became ill during the spring semester of 1942 and was confined to his home. Undaunted, he continued to direct the affairs of the school and met with the faculty a few days before his death on June 9, 1942.
Sister Mary Louise Degenhart, B.S. ’60, has been associated with the College for more than a third of its history—an astounding 58 years—as a student, active alumna, and now as special assistant to the president. She was born in a farming community six miles from Dahlgren, Illinois, on April 14, 1937, and attended Saint Louis University in 1955 and 1956.
Degenhart became interested in pharmacy after her religious order, Adorers of the Blood of Christ, began sponsoring a hospital in Murphysboro, Illinois. She was asked about becoming a pharmacist and decided to give it a try. Fortunately, for all of her patients and for all of us at the College, it became her lifelong career. She began her studies at the College in 1956 and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree in 1960. During her time as a student at the College, Degenhart was inspired by Dr. Don Sheets, who taught chemistry, and Dr. James McGowan, who taught pharmacy. She studied physiology and pharmacology with Dr. Byron Barnes, who would go on to become dean of the College from 1970-1989.
For more than 25 years now, Degenhart has been involved with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) Accreditation Services Division. She travels around the country conducting surveys for ASHP. Each year, she reviews 10-15 pharmacy residency and pharmacy technological training programs for accreditation. Degenhart was also instrumental in launching the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists more than 50 years ago and served as the council’s third president. No matter where her duties took her, she always made time for her alma mater and serves it faithfully today as special assistant to the president.
James Michener Good was born to Quaker parents in eastern Pennsylvania on Jan. 12, 1842. He grew up on a farm and attended the local school. He moved to Philadelphia in 1865 and taught at the Friends’ School before enrolling in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, where he took the junior course in 1867-1868.
In July 1868, Good opened a pharmacy on the corner of 22nd and Clark Avenue in St. Louis. He quickly became active in the St. Louis pharmacy community and was elected as vice president of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s Board of Trustees in 1873. In 1875, Good became professor of theoretical pharmacy. Two years later, Good was elected the fifth dean of the College, a post he held until 1904, when he returned to teaching. During his tenure as dean, student enrollment doubled and the College continually moved into better facilities. In 1879, the College awarded him an honorary Graduate in Pharmacy (Ph.G.) degree. He also received an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from Missouri Medical College and a Master of Pharmacy degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy for his distinguished record of service.
Good was a lifelong advocate of the pharmacy profession and became actively involved in the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association (MPA) and American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), serving in a variety of capacities. He served as president of MPA from 1888-1889 and as president of APhA from 1895-1896. For health reasons, Good retired from the College in 1916 and became the first person to earn the title of emeritus professor of pharmacy.
Good continued to supervise many clerks in his pharmacy until he sold it, just 10 days before his death on May 15, 1919.
Joe Haberle, a beloved faculty member, defined St. Louis College of Pharmacy from 1963 to 2004. The barrel-chested, Indiana native with a buzz cut looked every bit the career military man that he was.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force Reserves and the U.S. Air National Guard, Haberle was a medical flight commander when he joined the College faculty, in 1963, to teach pharmaceutics. He directed the pharmacy division of the College from 1967 until 1990 (he remained an active medical officer of the Air National Guard until 1986).
As an educator, Haberle was unsurpassed. During his 40-year career, he earned numerous accolades. He received the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Educator Award so many times (1990, 1993, 1998, and 2004) that it was eventually renamed in his honor.
In the classroom, Haberle had a reputation for being tough and demanding. Yet, his students quickly learned that behind his no-nonsense exterior was a remarkably caring human being. He went out of his way to help students find work and, beginning in March 1969, Haberle organized an annual job interview placement day for seniors. On that day, each year, representatives of pharmacies with job openings arrived on campus to meet with students. He also helped to establish clinical rotation sites in the St. Louis area after experiential education became a required component of the curriculum in 1978.
Haberle passed away in 2004 after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Francis Hemm was born on Jan. 28, 1857, in the Carondelet neighborhood of South St. Louis. He attended schools and colleges in Teutopolis, Illinois, and Atchison, Kansas, and returned to St. Louis in April 1872 as a drugstore apprentice to Christopher Schroeder and, later, to Dr. Otto A. Wall.
Hemm enrolled at St. Louis College of Pharmacy in the fall of 1873 and earned his Ph.G. degree in March 1875. He graduated with honors and was awarded a microscope for his outstanding academic achievement in materia medica and botany. Hemm, along with a few other classmates, played a key role in founding the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Alumni Association. He presented his essay “Conium Maculatum” at its first scientific meeting. Hemm continued to devote himself to the success of the Alumni Association throughout his life and served as its president three times, in 1878-1879, 1891-1892, and 1925-1926. In 1878, Hemm opened his own pharmacy in Kirkwood, Missouri, and later opened another pharmacy in St. Louis at 3907 South Broadway.
Hemm was a member of the the College's Board of Trustees from 1882-1883 and became an instructor of practical pharmacy in the same year. In 1888, he was promoted to professor of practical pharmacy, a position he held for the next 45 years. Similar to his colleagues, Hemm also served as a professor of chemistry at the Missouri Medical College for three years. For his distinguished service, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree in 1897.
Hemm was active in local, state and national pharmacy organizations. He was president of the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association from 1891-1892, and was third vice president of the American Pharmaceutical Association in 1918. He also participated in the revisions of the United States Pharmacopoieia.
In addition to his work as a pharmacy proprietor and as an advocate of the profession of pharmacy, Hemm’s most lasting contribution was to the College and its students as a gifted educator.
To celebrate the 50-year anniversary of his graduation, Hemm received a Master of Pharmacy degree from the College. Francis Hemm remained an active educator until his death in September 1927.
Kimberly J. Kilgore made history in the fall of 2006 when she became the first female dean at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. She was hired as the new dean of arts and sciences and student affairs (later, vice president for student affairs).
Kilgore was born and raised in Cadiz, Ohio. A chemist by training, she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Muskingum University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
Working in conjunction with Wendy Duncan (dean of pharmacy from 2006 to 2013), Kilgore led the school through a wide range of changes and developments. Both deans worked to integrate student assessment and ability outcomes-based learning more closely into curricular development.
Throughout her career at the College, Kilgore has overseen many aspects of student life, working with student affairs staff and student government. Kilgore has also worked closely with students to give them a strong voice on academic and non-academic issues through the transition of student council to the current Student Body Union.
In 2013, Kilgore also served as interim dean of pharmacy. In 2014, Kilgore helped lead the College through ACPE accreditation, the reorganization of a School of Pharmacy and School of Arts and Sciences within the College, course development for the seven-year program, and the selection of Bruce Canaday as the new dean of the School of Pharmacy. Today, Kilgore is dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
Already a national figure in pharmacy administration, Kenneth Kirk joined St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1995 as academic dean. Kirk had accumulated more than 20 years of college teaching experience in large top-tier state universities, including the University of Wisconsin, the University of Texas, and Purdue University.
He also served as associate dean with the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas. He developed a national reputation as a teacher and scholar, taking an early interest in the advancement of women within the pharmacy profession.
Born and raised in rural Caro, Michigan, Kirk attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1967, he went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and graduated with a Ph.D. in pharmacy administration.
After becoming academic dean, Kirk restructured the academic divisions, with the liberal arts and administrative sciences consolidated into a single division and basic and pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice as two separate divisions. He also oversaw the transition to a mandatory Pharm.D. degree, the adoption of the White Coat Ceremony, the expansion of student clubs and sports, the creation of the Success Center, and the improvement of academic standards and progression policies.
Serving as academic dean until 2006, Kirk left behind an indelible mark on the College.
Without the dogged persistence of Eugene Leon Massot there might not be a St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Massot, now known as “the father of St. Louis College of Pharmacy,” was a passionate champion of pharmacy education and a heroic figure in the College’s history. He was born in Shipinsport, Kentucky, near Louisville in 1823. At the age of 13, he began his career during a four-year apprenticeship in a pharmacy in Galena, Illinois. After completing his apprenticeship in 1849, Massot answered the call of the gold rush, passing through St. Louis on his way to California to seek his fortune.
He returned in 1851 and practiced in a St. Louis pharmacy before opening his own store, which he operated from 1852 until his death in 1871. Typical of many apothecaries of his era, Massot had little formal education but he saw its value, and his passion was to make it available to the next generation of pharmacists. He knew of the inroads made by organized pharmaceutical societies in the East, especially in Philadelphia, and wanted to advance pharmacy as a profession in St. Louis. He played a key role in the reorganization of the St. Louis Pharmaceutical Association in 1857 and served as its recording secretary during that year. He was elected as the organization’s president in 1859.
Massot and a few other prominent physicians and citizens held a fateful meeting on Oct. 26, 1864. They discussed plans to establish St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Massot was the only pharmacist among the founders, although several of the founding physicians operated pharmacies as part of their medical practices. Massot became the first chairman of the Board of Trustees and served as first vice president from 1864 to1865. The following year, he served as chairman of the board and president of the College. In 1866, he was elected second vice president and served again as president from 1869 to 1870. He also served terms on the Board of Trustees from 1864-67 and from 1868-71. He served during one of the College’s most challenging times and with a little imagination and a great deal of leadership, he managed to keep the College going. He earned a degree from the College in 1868.
In 1857, Massot joined the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), which had been founded just five years earlier, and served as its second vice president in 1862-63 and third vice president in 1870-71. When the College was forced to suspend the 1869-70 session because of low enrollment, Massot persuaded the APhA to hold its annual convention in St. Louis in 1871. As a result of the convention being held in St. Louis, enough support was generated to boost enrollment. In 1871, the College resumed its classes.
Massot, who had worked so hard to keep the College going, died on Valentine’s Day in 1871, and was not able to see the College come back into session. Nonetheless, Massot’s dream of pharmacy education in St. Louis lives on today.
Leonard L. Naeger ’63/’65 is one of St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s most fondly remembered professors. For 40 years, he served as professor of pharmacology. His entire career was devoted to the College and to the profession of pharmacy. He not only lectured students, but also taught pharmacists throughout the St. Louis region and around the world through continuing education (CE) programs, ultimately healing patients through decades of teaching.
Known as “Doc” to many, Naeger was perhaps best known for his joyful spirit and spirit of service. Giving a lecture while lying down, walking around campus in fuzzy slippers and dressing up as Santa Claus for his summer pharmacology final were all Naeger trademarks. He also derived great joy from giving to others, in even the smallest of ways. He often collected roses from his garden at home, quietly leaving them in miniature bud vases for staff and faculty to find in their work spaces.
The weekend barbecues Naeger would host in his garage were legendary: the long, skinny hamburgers made to fit hot dog buns; the party space, filled with Naeger’s collection of classic cars; the poker games and storytelling among friends, neighbors and colleagues.
In honor of his dedication to the College, Naeger received the Alumni Association’s Service to the College Award in 1999. In 2009, he received the College’s Distinguished Service Award and was an honored Lifetime Member of the Mortar & Pestle Society. Naeger was also an active member of the Alumni Association and Kappa Psi Fraternity.
Devoted to the College until the very end, Naeger died on July 26, 2010, while conducting a CE program abroad. He continues to leave his mark on the College today through the Leonard L. Naeger Endowed Professorship of Pharmacology. Although he is gone, his spirit lives on at the College. A statue of Naeger stands outside of Jones Hall complete with fuzzy bunny slippers.
As St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s third president, Thomas F. Patton brought both academic and corporate experience to the position. Raised in Western Pennsylvania, Patton received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, and master’s degree and Ph.D. in pharmaceutics from the University of Wisconsin between 1966 and 1975. He spent the next 11 years at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy as a professor, researcher and associate vice chancellor. In 1986, Patton left academia for the world of pharmaceuticals and served in a variety of directorial and executive positions for Upjohn, Oread and DuPont Merck.
In 1994, Patton accepted the position of president at the College. When he arrived, he found a school that still had a phone switchboard, a box for petty cash and an old freight elevator, but did not yet have a human resources department or adequate teaching or residential facilities. In his 16 years at the College, Patton modernized the school and maintained a high level of fiscal responsibility. But while some may remember him as the quintessential no-nonsense administrator, he had a charismatic side as well. Many remembered Patton’s strong sense of humor. Without it, he would not have hosted the school talent show or volunteered to sit in dunking booths at welcome back barbecues.
Perhaps one of his most lasting legacies, Patton helped transform campus life. In 1994, the College was still largely a commuter school. But Patton made it a point to develop a more active, complete student life experience. Thanks to his administration’s support, the school had more sports teams, clubs, extracurricular events, residential spaces and a more active student government than ever by the time Patton’s presidency ended in 2010.
In 2010, John A. Pieper became the fourth president of St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Pieper brought much expertise to his role, having spent his entire adulthood in academia. A native of Colorado, he received a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Colorado, a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Wyoming and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Pharmacy.
Prior to his appointment at the College, Pieper served as professor and dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico, with concurrent appointments as vice president for research and deputy executive vice president at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque. He had previously worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the University of Colorado. Pieper is also a past president of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.
At St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Pieper has worked to position the College to be at the forefront of pharmacy education by creating a transformational strategic plan.
A few of his many accomplishments include an enhanced curriculum that includes three years of undergraduate work followed by four years in a professional doctoral program with an integrated bachelor’s degree. Under his leadership, the College is also partnering with other premier institutions to establish cutting-edge research centers. In addition, the College is currently undergoing the largest construction project in its history.
During his 22-year tenure, Charles Rabe ’39 steered St. Louis College of Pharmacy through a period of expansion and redevelopment at a time of rapidly evolving changes in the pharmacy profession.
Born in Steeleville, Illinois, Rabe earned a bachelor’s degree from the College and then worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Merck, Sharp & Dohme and later at Warner-Lambert. He joined the faculty of the College in 1943. From 1948 to 1950, Rabe took a leave of absence to earn a master’s degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy before returning to the College.
In 1954, he left the College to serve as assistant to the secretary of the American Pharmaceutical Association in Washington, D.C. He then worked in various executive positions at a division of Pfizer before becoming the first full-time president of the College in 1961.
Under his leadership, the College campus grew from one building on less than an acre to four buildings on five acres. There were revisions to the College curriculum, increased enrollment, increased number of faculty and staff along with improved benefits, and greater library holdings. The College also received accreditation by the North Central Association, and the endowment and reserve funds grew.
A residence hall was named for Rabe in the early 1980s. In 1989, Rabe received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the College from the Alumni Association. He and his wife, Martha, were inducted as lifetime members of the Mortar & Pestle Society in 1996. Rabe died on March 30, 2000.
Sumner M. Robinson arrived at St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1984 as its second president. An alumnus of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, he had served as dean of his alma mater for the prior seven years.
Robinson imagined the College as a national leader in pharmacy education. In 1986, the College introduced the first six-year degree program in its history which culminated in a Doctor of Pharmacy degree—something that most pharmacy schools in the United States did not offer at the time.
In the fall of 1986, the College began offering two years of evening graduate courses leading to a master’s degree in pharmacy administration. Robinson also contracted with Barnes Hospital School of Nursing for its students to complete their general education requirements at the College.
In 1986, a $7 million building expansion and renovation project began, which included the construction of a new student center, renovation of the main academic building, a new and improved library, and a quadrangle and covered walkway.
In 1990, the College developed its first strategic plan. The College’s academic divisions were realigned into arts and sciences, pharmaceutical and administrative sciences, pharmacy practice, and library and instructional sciences. In addition, the faculty began to change their teaching methods from content-based learning (rote memorization) to process-based learning (increased interaction between teachers and students). Robinson left in 1994 to serve as president of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.
Enno Sander, one of the key founders of St. Louis College of Pharmacy, was born to an upper-class German family in Trinum on Feb. 27, 1822. He received a first-class education at the University of Berlin and later earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Halle.
In 1852, Sander arrived in St. Louis and became a high school mathematics teacher. He also opened the first of three drug stores he owned in 1853. During the Civil War, he served with distinction as a quartermaster at the rank of major for the Union. Sander became an advocate for a pharmacy school in St. Louis and became one of the school’s original founders.
He was second vice president of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1864-65 and then president from 1865-66. He served two terms as a member of the board in 1866-67 and from 1868-75. In 1868, the College awarded him an honorary degree. He began his tenure as professor of materia medica in 1871 and became the College’s second dean in 1872.
Sander’s pivotal contribution to the College occurred in 1871 when he helped lead the effort to reorganize it. He also helped regulate pharmacy licensure and draft legislation to establish the Missouri State Board of Pharmacy.
In 1902, he was awarded the title of emeritus professor of materia medica and botany, the first person to receive that title from the College. Sander left $1,000 to the College in his will.
Phyllis (Neu) Sarich ’46 worked for her father, Philip Neu ’16/’20, at his pharmacy in South St. Louis. She learned the art of pharmacy at her father’s side, grinding powders, rolling pills and mixing syrups, ointments and tinctures to serve her father’s patients. This early training led to a pharmacy career that spanned more than 70 years, 52 of them spent at the College as its first full-time female instructor.
A few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Sarich enrolled in the College into a class of two women and 12 men. Due to World War II, her class consolidated with the following class and they pursued the accelerated curriculum. Sarich thrived in pharmacy school and became interested in the study of bacteriology, taught by George Reddish. After graduation, she took a position at Lambert Pharmacal Company working with her mentor, where they conducted tests on a product that became known as “Listerine.” In 1946, she accepted a teaching position at the College as instructor of bacteriology.
In addition to being the first and only full-time female faculty member until the mid-1960s, Sarich was a founding member of the sorority Lambda Kappa Sigma in 1951. In 1970, she was elected as the first female president of the Alumni Association. In 2009, Sarich received the Loyalty Award in gratitude for her exceptional commitment and service to the College and the Alumni Association.
She also became the College’s first professor emerita. She died in 2011.
Henry Shaw, one of the founders of St. Louis College of Pharmacy, was born on July 24, 1800, in Sheffield, England. Henry’s father, Joseph Shaw, had moved to Sheffield as a young man to open his own iron factory, and Henry assisted his father with the business. In 1818, Henry accompanied his father on his first trip across the Atlantic Ocean where the pair did business in Quebec, Canada. Young Henry must have impressed his father with his business acumen, because the next year he was sent to New Orleans alone on business, even though he was still a teenager.
On May 3, 1819, Shaw traveled to St. Louis, where he set up a hardware store and sold high quality cutlery and other metal products. By the age of 40 he was one of the largest landholders in the city and was able to retire. Following his retirement, Shaw traveled extensively, and returned to St. Louis in 1851. Working with leading botanists, Shaw planned, funded and built what would become the Missouri Botanical Garden on the land around his home. As the garden became more extensive, Shaw decided to open it to the general public in 1859. Shaw donated additional land adjoining the garden to the city of St. Louis for Tower Grove Park and also helped with its construction.
One of Shaw’s most important contributions to the city occurred in 1864, when he helped found St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River. The school replaced unstructured pharmacy education with a progressive program of formal instruction. Its classes in a rented room on the fourth floor of the St. Louis Medical College—roughly where the left field concourse of the new Busch Stadium now stands—launched the third oldest pharmacy college in the United States. Shaw served as a member of the College’s first Board of Trustees.
Shaw died in 1889 and is buried in a mausoleum surrounded by a grove of trees on the grounds of the gardens he founded. He is widely remembered for his generosity and philanthropy and has been recognized with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Born in 1897 in Medina, Ohio, James R. Thayer earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University in 1922 where he discovered his passion for chemistry. He studied chemistry and pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin and earned his Master of Science degree in 1926 and his doctorate in chemistry in 1928. Upon graduation, he became a research chemist and pharmacologist for Parke, Davis, and Company in Detroit until he was hired as an assistant professor of chemistry at the California College of Pharmacy.
In 1930, Thayer joined the faculty of St. Louis College of Pharmacy as a professor of chemistry. In addition to his work as head of the chemistry department, Thayer conducted research on local anesthetics. He was active in the American Pharmaceutical Association, the Missouri Pharmacy Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As a faculty member and administrator Thayer was an active supporter of student organizations and activities, especially Rho Chi, Sigma Xi and Kappa Psi. In 1951, he was appointed as associate dean of the College by the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees appointed him as acting dean in 1957 and then as dean of the College in 1958. Thayer’s retirement was celebrated at the Founder’s Day Banquet on Oct. 16, 1964. He died tragically in a house fire on Aug. 8, 1971, in Camdenton, Missouri.
Otto Augustus Wall was born in St. Louis County on Sept. 27, 1846, and was the son of a clergyman. Wall loved art as a child and developed a love of drawing and painting. At 18, he moved to the city and worked as a drugstore apprentice to Dr. Enno Sander.
A few years later, Wall attended St. Louis College of Pharmacy and was among the first class of graduates in 1868 to earn Graduate in Pharmacy degrees. After pharmacy school, Wall graduated from Humboldt Medical School, which later merged with Missouri Medical College. He then enrolled in Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York, where he graduated in 1871. Wall returned to St. Louis and practiced medicine for several years.
In 1873, Wall joined the faculty of St. Louis College of Pharmacy as professor of botany and materia medica. Following years of education, Wall had found his true calling as a pharmacy educator. In the 1870s, he was experimenting with a classroom projection machine, called an Oxy-Hydrogen Stereoptican, which projected images on lantern slides. His artistic background helped him to prepare images that helped students learn about various medicinal herbs. He also introduced the use of microscopes in his botany classes. While teaching at the College, Wall also taught materia medica and therapeutics at Missouri Medical College until the 1880s.
In 1875, Dr. Wall became the fourth dean of the College and remained until 1877, when he returned to teaching. In addition to teaching material medica, he assumed responsibility for teaching botany in 1880 and pharmacognosy in 1890. In 1885, he helped students at the College establish the Omega Phi Society, a senior class quiz society, which was active for many decades.
Wall was also actively involved in state and national pharmacy organizations. He was president of the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association two times, and served for a number of years as a member of the Revision Committee of the United States Pharmacopoeial Convention, which met in Washington, D.C., in 1910.
During his 30th year of teaching, in 1903, Wall was honored by his students with a medallion bearing his likeness. It remains in the College’s archives today. In 1918, the College conferred on him an honorary degree of Master in Pharmacy for the 50th anniversary of his graduation from the College. Wall continued to think, write and teach for 49 years at the College, until his sudden death on Feb. 13, 1922.
Henry Milton Whelpley was born in Harmonia, Michigan, on May 24, 1861. During the summers in high school, he worked in drugstores, learning his life’s work.
On Oct. 10, 1881, Whelpley began attending St. Louis College of Pharmacy. He registered for all of the optional classes in his junior year and still earned the highest grade point average in the class.
After serving as a pharmacy manager in Mine LaMotte, Missouri, Whelpley returned to St. Louis. He served as an editor for the St. Louis Druggist, then for the National Druggist and, ultimately, for the Meyer Brothers Druggist, which he edited for 38 years. In 1884, Whelpley returned to his alma mater as an instructor in microscopy. In 1887, he was promoted to professor of microscopy and formed a local society to advance its study.
Whelpley played a leadership role in shaping organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Board of Pharmacy, and the American Council on Pharmacy Education. He enjoyed a lifelong involvement with the Missouri Pharmaceutical Association (MPA) and was elected president of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in 1901.
Whelpley became dean of the College in 1904 and transformed it into a college of pharmacy for the 20th century. He moved it from a part-time evening program into a full-time day program. He continued to teach, first as professor of pharmacognosy in 1918, then as professor of physiology, pharmacognosy and materia medica in 1922. On June 26, 1926, after attending an MPA meeting in Kansas City, Whelpley died.
Harvey A.K. Whitney Jr., a distinguished clinical pharmacist, joined the faculty at St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1969 as one of its first assistant professors of clinical pharmacy. Working with area hospitals, he played an instrumental role in establishing elective courses in experiential clerkships. He also introduced courses, including clinical pharmacy, institutional pharmacy, community medicine and pathology, into the College’s curriculum. Whitney also helped attract some of the best clinical pharmacists to the College’s faculty in the early 1970s: Tim Covington and Marianne Ivey.
In 1971, Whitney moved on to the University of Cincinnati, where he introduced clinical pharmacy there and became interested in promoting high standards for pharmacy technician training. In 1979, he helped found the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and then went on to promote the organization in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, a journal he established and nurtured as publisher and editor. Whitney’s innovations in the journal helped to transform American pharmacy by making the case for clinical pharmacy as the national standard of pharmacy practice.
Whitney graduated from the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy followed by a Master of Science in Pharmacy in 1961. During his illustrious career, he has received numerous honors for his work, including the Lifetime Achievement in Pharmacy Award from the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists and the Remington Medal to name a few. The editorial board of the publication he founded, The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, honored him on his 80th birthday with a special tribute article recounting the highlights of a singular career.
At a meeting on Oct. 18, 1881, the College’s Board of Trustees decided to admit women into the pharmacy program, based on the application of Esther Wightman. Wightman was born in England in 1838 and, in 1881, became the first woman to attend the College (though it is not known if she graduated).
She passed the Missouri Board of Pharmacy examination and became the first woman to earn a pharmacy license both in the state and west of the Mississippi River. After becoming licensed, Wightman opened a drugstore in St. Louis at Jefferson and Cass Avenues and then sold it. She bought another pharmacy on 29th and Lucas, which she successfully ran until the 1890s.
A true pioneer, Wightman set the stage for other women to attend the College and, from 1881 to 1964, an average of three women graduated each year. Female enrollment at the College waxed and waned until the 1960s and, in 1981, female enrollment reached 50 percent. Today, more than two-thirds of St. Louis College of Pharmacy students are women.