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Founders Day

Founders Day has become one of the University’s most important traditions, where the campus community unites to reflect on all those who have contributed to the University’s rich history and celebrate our bright future.

Join us on Friday, Nov. 10 for a day of service, celebration and fun as we come together to honor our rich history.

Start the day serving the St. Louis community. Then, celebrate in the afternoon with on-campus activities, including a photobooth, face painters, balloon artists, caricature artists and a food truck.

Our Foundational History

When University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis was founded in 1864 as St. Louis College of Pharmacy, it became the first college of pharmacy west of the Mississippi River and added to a long history of health education in the region.

Since then, the University has played an integral role in the advancement of health sciences education.

Through times of war, economic depression and pandemics, the University has persevered and triumphed with innovation, evolution and the pioneering spirit of its founding. The University’s constant pursuit of excellence, insatiable curiosity and commitment to its students and community have always been the guiding light for our growth and expansion.

Seeing a need for pharmacy education in St. Louis, Eugene Massot, a self-educated apothecary from Kentucky, became the founding father of St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and his vision became the foundation for our institution’s legacy.

As a 13-year-old boy growing up in Galena, Illinois, in 1836, Massot worked as an apprentice in a local pharmacy. In those days, apothecaries didn’t attend classes, and there were no formal degrees in pharmacy in the Midwest.

After completing his apprenticeship, Massot followed the Gold Rush to California, passing through St. Louis on the way. In 1852, he returned to St. Louis and opened his own drugstore, the same year the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) was formed. He became closely involved with APhA and helped to breathe new life into the St. Louis Pharmaceutical Association.

Massot wanted the local apothecaries, who had begun to meet in the back rooms of drugstores to learn about botany, chemistry and other pharmaceutical topics, to have the education he never had.

In 1860, Massot, along with a committee of apothecaries and physicians, was appointed by the St. Louis Pharmaceutical Association to consider opening a college of pharmacy. Discussions stalled out during the Civil War but were revived in September of 1864.

On November 11, 1864, at 7:30 p.m., St. Louis College of Pharmacy was founded in the hall of the St. Louis Medical College. Massot, along with four other medical colleagues, went about drafting a charter, constitution, and bylaws. He was the only apothecary on the committee.

Four years later, Massot was among the College’s first graduating class of 17 men.

In 1869, just one year later, the College was forced to suspend instruction due to low enrollment. Massot persuaded APhA to hold its annual convention in St. Louis in 1871, which garnered enough interest and support to boost enrollment, allowing the college to resume classes in 1871.

The legacy of Massot’s determination lives on as the institution continues to expand student opportunity through new programs and an innovative health care education that prepares graduates to be leaders in building a healthier society.

A History of Service

As a health care-focused institution, building communities and improving patient care is at the core of our identity. Students and faculty at the University are tackling some of society’s most pressing challenges.

A longstanding tradition of UHSP Founders Day is UHSP C.A.R.E.S. (Community Awareness Reaching Everyone in St. Louis) which was established in 2001 by members of the Student Pharmacists Association. Since then, it has grown to include hundreds of students, faculty and staff volunteering their time each fall at sites across the region.

During the event, UHSP students, faculty and staff volunteer at community service sites throughout the St. Louis area where they provide health consultations, clean up the lush green space of Forest Park and participate at other locations throughout the metro area.

join the Founders Day Giving Challenge

In the spirit of service and giving back, the Founders Day Giving Challenge, our dedicated day of giving, is a great way to celebrate Founders Day while supporting current and future generations of UHSP students.

Date and time

2023 Founders Day

November 10 @ 1:30 pm 4:30 pm

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