UNC Pharmacy Photo Journey: 1953-1962

Mid-century developments at the School and around the world, told through photos and factoids

Story by Ryan McDaniel | Published November 8, 2022

The 1952-1953 Student Senate

Photo of the 1952-53 Student Senate. Historical context: in response to Senator Joseph McCarthy's relentless paranoia, discrimination, and persecution, Arthur Miller's The Crucible opens on Broadway.

The Graduating Class of 1954

Photo of the graduating class of 1954 from the Carolina Journal of Pharmacy. Historical context: 1954 was the year Elvis Presley recorded his first demo for Sun Records.

Life at the School, 1954-1955

Top-left: a set of three photos showing an automatic pill counter, students measuring drug ingredients, and the School's library. Bottom left: the 1954-55 School faculty. Right side: Employees of the W.H. King Drug Company receive the Polio vaccine. The vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk, was given FDA approval in 1955. (Photo is from the February, 1957 Carolina Journal of Pharmacy.)

1956 Kappa Psi

A photo of the 1956 Kappa Psi fraternity. Historical context: The IBM RAMAC 305 was introduced in 1956, the first commercial computer to use magnetic disk storage. The computer took up an entire room and weighed over a ton.

NCAA Champs!

The UNC Backetball team had a stellar season in 1956-1957, going undefeated and winning the NCAA Championship

Graduating Class of 1957

Photo of the graduating class of 1957. Historical context: Little Rock Central High School was desegregated in 1957, leading to this famous photo of Elizabeth Eckford, one of the "Little Rock Nine," being harassed as she entered the school. The national guard was eventually called in to ensure the students' safety.

The School Moves into Beard Hall

On November 16, 1959, the UNC School of Pharmacy moved into its newly-constructed building. In April, 1960 the new School of Pharmacy building was dedicated with a ceremony including over 1,200 guests. The building was named Beard Hall on February 27, 1961 by official action of the Board of Trustees. The School still occupies the building today. (Sketch from the 1961 Yackety Yack.)

The 1959-1960 Enrolled Students

The 1959-60 academic year saw new highs to the enrolled student population at the School of Pharmacy, with over 300 students enrolled in the program. Illustration/photo from 1959 Yackety Yack, composite of first year students from 1960 Yackety Yack.

Kappa Epsilon, 1960

Photo composite of the members of the 1959-1960 chapter of Kappa Epsilon. Historical context: in 1960, the FDA approved Enovid, the world's first hormonal birth control pill.

First Distinguished Teaching Award Granted

The UNC School of Pharmacy's inaugural Distinguished Teaching Award was given to Dr. James Dobbins, who taught at the School from 1918 to 1960. Photo from the June, 1961 Carolina Journal of Pharmacy.

Alice Noble Publishes a History of the School

In 1961, Alice Noble, the School of Pharmacy's librarian, a historian, and editor of the Carolina Journal of Pharmacy, published her book detailing the history of the School. The book spans from the School's earliest groundwork in 1880 through its opening in 1897, and all the way up to 1960.

In the Lab, 1962

A photo of pharmacy students working in a lab in Beard Hall. Historical context: the world likely came the closest it ever has to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, after the USSR deployed ballistic missiles in Cuba in response to the US deploying missiles in Italy and Turkey. Photo of President John F. Kennedy, who saw the US through the crisis, during his visit to UNC in 1961 (photo from the 1962 Yackety Yack).

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 1953-1962. Check back weekly for updates by decade and follow along on Facebook (@carolinapharmacystories), Instagram (@carolina pharmacy stories), and Twitter (@carolinarxstory).