facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

Centennial Celebration: 100 + 1 in 2021

Thank you for attending our Centennial Celebration: 100 + 1 in 2021! We enjoyed spending time with our alumni, friends, and college supporters. Take a look at the photo gallery below and add your photos or videos! 

During our Centennial Celebration we also celebrated the success of our $15 million Capital Campaign.  The College generated $15.3 million dollars during the campaign for its many important initiatives.  The breakdown of these donations is listed here.

Scholarships $5,560,000
Capital Improvements $1,080,000
Pharmacy Practice and Research $800,000
Faculty Development $605,000
Student related services & Programs $375,000
Cash and Pledge Total $8,420,000
Deferred/Planned Gifts $6,880,000
GRAND TOTAL $15,300,000

During the Celebration, we also recognized all donors who supported our campaign since its inception in 2014. The following donors are recognized on the Centennial Patio outside of Leonard Hall at these monetary levels of $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $1 million level and above.  We also recognized the following classes at the $25,000 level or higher which include the classes of 1951, 1954, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970,1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 2003, 2009.

There are still opportunities to be recognized on the patio if you so desire.  For more information on how you can support the College and be recognized on the Centennial Patio please contact Phil Yankovich at yankphil@isu.edu or (208) 339-4770.

Message from the Dean for the College of Pharmacy, Walter Fitzgerald:

A Centennial milestone is a time to celebrate history and contemplate the future. The ISU L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy has a rich history that deserves to be celebrated.

The L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy at ISU began with three students in 1920 in the basement of Swanson Hall, ISU’s first building. The College then saw several moves, to the first floor of Swanson Hall, then to Faris Hall, and to the Science Building, before settling into Leonard Hall in 1943. It is here the College continues to prepare pharmacists for their critical role in patient care today, but that’s not where the story ends. In order to provide training for, and graduate an appropriate number of competent and caring pharmacists from ISU each year, the L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy expanded its classrooms and labs to the Treasure Valley in 2000. The College now calls the Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center at ISU-Meridian their home, a move that took place in 2009. From there the L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy continued, as it still does today, to further develop a reputation for providing stellar training of pharmacists, but again, the story continues. In 2011, faculty members at the University of Alaska, Anchorage identified a need for additional learning environments to prepare pharmacists in their state, and they asked for assistance from ISU. After years of planning and preparation, the two schools built a partnership, and students at the UAA-ISU College of Pharmacy began their coursework in 2016. Looking ever forward, while remaining grounded in our foundation of excellence, the L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy will celebrate 100 years in 2020, and the inaugural UAA-ISU class will graduate 6 pharmacists, ready to join their peers and predecessors in serving patients by providing outstanding pharmaceutical care.

In addition to preparing pharmacists for the rigors of the profession, The Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPSCI) is a multidisciplinary unit in the College. BPSCI is the sole state program for post-graduate education in the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. The mission of the BPSCI graduate program is to train and prepare students to succeed in one of the biomedical and pharmaceutical science disciplines: Drug Discovery and Development, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacometrics, and Pharmacology/Toxicology.

What will the next 100 years bring? The answer to this question, of course, cannot be fully known. But with current dynamics in healthcare and pharmacy, the coming century will be greatly influenced by what we do over the next few years. The exciting news is that Idaho and the L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy are positioned to be very influential.

Paving the roads to be traveled in the next 100 years requires the work of many. One road already being paved is expanded services by pharmacists; initiated by legislative and regulatory advances. The College is paving this road by delivering a PharmD curriculum that enables graduates to practice at the top of their education and training. Aligned with our academic mission is our commitment to work with all stakeholders to develop postgraduate programs and tools for practicing pharmacists seeking to expand their services in Idaho and Alaska.

Identifying more ways to pave this road, and other roads to build, is an opportunity the College enthusiastically accepts. It is hoped that in 2120 our profession will observe that what we collectively set in motion in 2020 has been a major force in shaping pharmacy in the 22nd Century.

Thank you to the alumni and friends of the College who have given donations to support the Centennial Celebration activities and the Capital Campaign. Ways that you can support these activities include scholarships, new equipment, capital improvements, faculty support and other student related initiatives.  You can find out how you can provide support to the current and future generations of pharmacy students by viewing the information in the links above. For further details please contact Phil Yankovich at yankphil@isu.edu or 208-339-4770.

Over the months leading up to and throughout 2021, the College will be focused on celebrating the first 100 years and building the foundation for the second 100 years. Events have been postponed until September 2021 and I invite students, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of the College to be engaged participants with us.

Best regards,

Walter L. Fitzgerald, Jr. handwritten signature

Walter L. Fitzgerald, Jr. 

BPharm, MS, JD

Dean for the L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy

Idaho State University


Reflections: A century of preparing leaders in pharmacy, endeavors and accomplishments

Female pharmacist in early College of Pharmacy history

POCATELLO - January 29, 2020

Preparing Leaders in Pharmacy for 100 Years

As the year 2020 begins, the College of Pharmacy at Idaho State University proudly celebrates 100 years of preparing pharmacists. A look through the decades shows how the College proved, time after time, to be well ahead of other pharmacy schools in the nation in terms of curriculum, accreditation, and advocacy. 

Our story begins in 1918, when Norman Adkinson, president of Idaho Technical Institute (ITI), now known as Idaho State University (ISU), decided to begin the first pharmacy school in Idaho. Many pharmacists in the state had been pushing for a school. In 1918 World War I had just ended and Pocatello was a lively railroad town, so they thought ‘what better time and place?’ It was May of 1918 that Eugene O Leonard began to outline and plan the pharmacy program. Few knew that Leonard would then serve as the dean of the college for 30 years.

On April 17, 1920, it was announced that pharmacy would be offered beginning in September at ITI. in 1920, there was no formal or nationally accepted accreditation, but ITI’s program was being recognized throughout the nation, appearing on approved program lists published by state boards of pharmacy. In 1920, the very first three students were enrolled in the two-year Ph.G. (Pharmacy Graduate) program. In 1922, the three year Ph. G was implemented as well as the Ph.C. (Pharmaceutical Chemist) program. 

Over the following few years, changes and improvements to the degree were made until 1930, when a bill was passed requiring all candidates for the license to obtain the four year B.S. degree. 

In the 1930s, the Great Depression affected Idaho and the ITI no differently than the rest of the nation. Though the College struggled for funds, pharmacy program enrollment was growing! During this time, all faculty were registered pharmacists, and students would pay a total of $30 per semester for tuition and $28 per month for room and board. Enrollment had been increasing steadily, jumping from 36 to 133 students enrolled in a matter of a decade.

The pharmacy program was housed in a number of establishments on campus. In 1940, the need for more space couldn’t be ignored any longer. The College of Pharmacy was granted $175,000 by the state to build what we know as Leonard Hall today, the namesake of Dean Leonard. The building was completed in 1942 and enrollment increased to 185 students. Ahead of national standards, the College implemented a new five-year B.S. in Pharmacy in 1957, which wasn’t established to be mandatory throughout the nation until 1960. That same year, the college was accredited and received an “A” rating, working continuously to be a leading example among other schools and succeed in being ahead of the times.

In 1976, enrollment reached its highest ever at 337 students, likely due to the Federal Health Professions Scholarship program. The 70s also saw the initiation of clinical pharmacy courses, pharmacy administration, and continuing education positions were also funded and filled.

The College of Pharmacy saw two significant improvements in the 80s. The college was reestablished into two separate academic departments, the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences and the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The Doctor of Pharmacy degree as a single entry-level degree was introduced as well as a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The other notable improvement was the decision to remodel Leonard Hall. 

In the 90s, Dean Barbara G. Wells worked to strengthen multiple aspects of the College during her deanship, including teaching, research, and service programs, growing scholarship endowments, and upgrading the building itself. The building received an addition during this time, a 10,000 square foot space that was used for a new classroom, a small group teaching room, a research lab, more faculty offices, and a basement. 

The beginning of a new century looked promising for the ever-growing and changing College of Pharmacy. The curriculum and learning strategies were again revised to keep up with modern requirements and technology. In 2009, we saw the addition of the ISU-Meridian site, made possible by a $5 million gift from the ALSAM Foundation. The only pharmacy program offered in the entire state of Idaho was now being offered in Meridian and Pocatello by Idaho State University. 

In 2011, the college once again took major strides in expanding their campus and overall footprint, as faculty from the University of Alaska, Anchorage looked to the College for assistance in implementing a new environment for students to learn pharmacy in their state. The two universities were able to form a partnership, and years of planning led to the University of Alaska Anchorage and Idaho State University Doctor of Pharmacy program that began in 2016. Students in Alaska would now be able to attend and receive their pharmacy degrees in their home state. 

The ISU College of Pharmacy hopes to continue to prepare bright, successful pharmacists and is optimistic about the goals they will accomplish in the next 100 years. “We are extremely proud to be celebrating 100 years of excellence in pharmacy education. We celebrate all of those individuals who, over that 100 year period, made this a great college of pharmacy,” says Walter Fitzgerald, BPharm, MS, JD, dean for the College of Pharmacy. “Sometimes, with a long history, you can become inflexible. Even though we have a hundred year history, we are able to quickly adapt to change in our profession and change in healthcare.”

Currently, the College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The College of Pharmacy works hand in hand with the Idaho legislature, supporting and advocating for progression in pharmacy practice laws. Because of the diligence of ISU faculty and administration, Idaho has adopted some of the most progressive pharmacy practice laws in the country, allowing pharmacists in Idaho to treat patients for a number of conditions, providing patients with more accessible care. 

As we celebrate our 100th year, we will also congratulate the first graduating class from the UAA-ISU program in May. While enrollment numbers have fluctuated over the years, ISU has prepared approximately 4,500 pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists throughout our 100 years. The College of Pharmacy has been a shining example to many other programs in the country and has continued to succeed in preparing pharmacists to provide distinguished pharmaceutical care. 

Historical photo with pharmacy dean and student in lab
Historical photo of pharmacy dean and students in lab
Historical photo in college classroom
1959 Wickiup photo
1959 Wickiup photo
1934 Wickiup Photo
1925 Wickiup photo
1924 Wickiup photo
1924 Wickiup Photo
1923 Wickiup photo of pharmacy students
1923 Wickiup photo of pharmacy students
1923 Wickiup photo of pharmacy students
Pharmacists in lab coats prepare a compound
Two male pharmacists prepare a prescription in a historical photo of the College of Pharmacy

Kasiska Division of Health Sciences - Learn more about the Kasiska family legacy and impact