125 Years and Counting: UW School of Pharmacy

Media Inquiries
Pharmacist in the labMADISON - One hundred and twenty-five years ago, in the drafty, uninviting confines of South Hall on Bascom Hill, an amazing tradition began.
Armed with a whopping annual budget of $11,000, Dr. Frederick B. Power, a pharmacist and phytochemist, launched the UW School of Pharmacy.
The school was the first in the country to approach the concept of physical pharmacy—improving the development and delivery of drugs—from an academic perspective.
Over the course of the next five quarter-centuries, the school would grow and expand, piling up students, pioneers and milestones, including:
  • The first Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy in the United States
  • The first American PhD degrees in pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, and the history of pharmac
  • Pioneering programs in pharmacy Administration, Social Studies in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Extension
  • The development of an air-suspended, spray-coating technology for drug tablets, now an industry standard.

Today, more than 800 students are learning on the cutting edge of pharmaceutical research in the eight-floor Rennebohm Hall—named for noted pharmacist and former Wisconsin Governor Oscar Rennebohm—located just across from UW Hospital and Clinics.


The school's graduates staff general pharmacies in Madison, within the UW Health system and across the country. Others help develop, monitor and distribute the formularies used every day by nurses and physicians at UW Hospital and Clinics.


Researchers, meanwhile, work to improve methods of drug delivery and develop new approaches to treating and curing major diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, AIDS, diabetes and osteoporosis.


In short, the UW School of Pharmacy touches the lives of Wisconsinites in more ways than you can imagine. That's the legacy we honor and celebrate this year.


The party officially began in January, but the 125th anniversary continues throughout the remainder of the year, so there's plenty of time to learn more about the ways in which the UW School of Pharmacy impacts your quality of life.


Date Published: 06/26/2008

News RSS Feed