UNC Pharmacy Photo Journey: 1933-1942

Click through this photo journey to explore the history of the School and the nation from the Great Depression into WWII

By Ryan McDaniel | Published October 17, 2022

New Degree Offered and the 1933 Faculty

Dean Beard understood the importance of offering graduate degrees in pharmacy; in 1933 the School of Pharmacy implemented majors in pharmacy and pharmaceutical chemistry leading to the degree of Master of Science (S.M.) In 1933 the faculty of the School of Pharmacy numbered just six professors and enrollment hovered around 90 students. In comparison, in 2022 the School has about 130 faculty and just over 700 students!

The 1932-1933 Enrolled Students

Photo of the enrolled students of the 1932-33 academic year. Historical context: 1933 was the year King Kong was released, a film that has since been named to many best-of-all-time lists.

The 1934-1935 Enrolled Students

Photo of the enrolled students of the 1934-35 academic year. Historical context: 1935 was the year the US Congress passed the Social Security Act, creating a financial safety net for millions of Americans.

The 1936-1937 Enrolled Students

Photo of the enrolled students of the 1936-37 academic year. Historical context: 1937 was the year of the infamous Hindenburg disaster, effectively ending the age of the zeppelin.

The 1937-1938 Enrolled Students

Photo of the enrolled students of the 1937-38 academic year. Historical context: 1938 was the year Orson Wells' radio broadcast of War of the Worlds premiered, causing some listeners to believe the US was indeed under attack.

Edward Almond Brecht Joins the School of Pharmacy

In the fall of 1939, E.A. Brecht joined the faculty of the School as an instructor, coming from a family of pharmacists (both his parents, his sister, and his brother being registered pharmacists). He would later become Dean of the pharmacy school, serving from 1950-1966.

Industry Trips Begin

In 1940 the first annual trips began to visit pharmaceutical industry laboratories of important manufacturers. Throughout the years, visits have been made to Parke, Davis and Co., Abbott Laboratories, the Upjohn Co., Lederle Laboratories, and of course, Eli Lilly.

Kappa Epsilon Granted Charter

In 1940, Kappa Epsilon, a national pharmaceutical sorority for women students, was granted a charter by the national organization. This, the Lambda chapter of Kappa Epsilon, was the first professional organization for women students to be established at the University. Before being granted an official charter, the group had previously organized in 1938 as the Kappa Epsilon Society.

The US Enters WWII

On December 7, 1941, the US was attacked by Japan. In response, the US declared war on Japan, thus entering World War II. The war touched all aspects of life in the US, including the University. More than 10,000 students and alumni of the University served in the war; 350 lost their lives in the line of duty, including eight students of pharmacy.

Pharmacy Senate Established

In 1940, the Pharmacy Senate was established. This forum, "a brainchild of Dr. E.A. Brecht," was a group of 30 students called together to discuss the pharmacy profession, its problems, successes, and hopes. This was the precursor to the Student Senate, which is still active today.

Celebrating 125 Years of Excellence

In 2022, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy celebrates 125 years of excellence as the nation’s top-ranked school of pharmacy by and for the people of North Carolina. Thank you for viewing this collection of photos from 1933-1942. Check back weekly for updates by decade and follow along on Facebook (@carolinapharmacystories), Instagram (@carolina pharmacy stories), and Twitter (@carolinarxstory).