A decade of transition
student coffee house
The 1990s were a time of turmoil in the United States and throughout the world.
The decade that opened with the Gulf War in 1990 also brought the collapse of the
Soviet Union, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Clinton/Lewinski
scandal and the Columbine shootings.
At ACPHS, the '90s were a time of transition.
The Doctor of Pharmacy program began in 1990 as a two-year post-baccalaureate degree
and, by the fall of 1993, was offered as a stand-alone six-year option in addition
to the five-year Bachelor's program. It was the beginning of a national move among
pharmacy colleges toward making the doctorate the sole degree leading to pharmacy
licensure, a trend which took hold at ACPHS as the '90s came to a close; the 1999-2000
academic year was the last in which ACPHS offered freshmen the five-year B.S. option.
In 1995, University Heights Association Inc. was established to benefit ACPHS and
its academic neighbors - Albany Law School , Albany Medical College and The Sage
Colleges. Following the presidency of Kenneth Miller, Ph.D., Claire M. Lathers '69,
Ph.D., was appointed as the new president and dean of ACPHS. In 1998, James J. Gozzo,
Ph.D., became ACPHS's seventh leader and embarked on a dynamic plan for the future.
Awareness Club, 1991
Going into the decade, ACPHS had three programs of study: the B.S. in Pharmacy,
a joint B.S. in Pharmacy/M.S. in Health Systems Management offered in conjunction
with the graduate school at Union College , and the new post-baccalaureate Pharm.D.
option. Students who pursued the Pharm.D. after obtaining their B.S. in Pharmacy
added an additional two years of didactic course work and clinical clerkships.
In 1996, the non-traditional Doctor of Pharmacy degree was added to allow practicing
pharmacists to get a degree via a more flexible schedule and the use of computers.
One program that was missing in the 1990s was the B.S. in Medical Technology program,
which had been offered as a two-year program that allowed students entering with
an associate's degree in med tech to obtain their Bachelor's. By the early part
of the decade, the degree had been phased out, bringing to an end a tenure of more
than 50 years for the program at ACPHS.
In the early years of the decade, Dr. Miller was at the helm at the College with
Joseph Lapetina and Albert M. White as associate deans of academic and student affairs,
respectively. Tuition was $7,200 a year in the beginning of the'90s and room and
board, in Alumni Hall, was $3,800.
Alumni Hall, near the intersection of Holland and Delaware avenues, was home to
all non-commuting freshmen and had its own social life. An annual Thanksgiving dinner
took place in the dorm on the Sunday after the holiday and was attended by returning
freshmen as well as administrators and faculty.
After more than 60 years, the 1927 flagship building on New Scotland Avenue was
starting to show its age and needed some extensive renovations and freshening up.
In the spring of 1990 a new lecture hall, chemistry lab, faculty research lab and
offices were dedicated, with plans to continue work on the facility throughout the
Students continued to tick off their progress through the curriculum with parties
that have set the traditions of today: the Half-Way, Four-Fifths and All the Way
events all were firmly ensconced as a part of the social scene during the '90s.
Also enjoyed were cruising down the Hudson for the "Fay's Excellent Adventure" on
the Captain J.P., class trips to Lilly and Parke Davis, the Kappa Psi Halloween
party and the annual champagne breakfast at Ralph's on the Park.
Champagne Breakfast, 1993
One big change that radically affected students at ACPHS came January 1, 1990, when
the drinking age was raised to 21 in New York State . The College responded by adopting
a "beer garden" approach for all venues where alcohol was served. Students had to
show proof of age to get into a designated, fenced area at all school-sponsored
In addition, a Substance Abuse Committee was formed to sponsor alcohol-free alternatives
for students both under and over 21. Party Smart, the High and Dry Weekend and movie
nights all made their appearance during the decade.
Fraternal organizations also weighed in on alcohol abuse with activities such as
LADD (Lambs Against Drunk Driving), sponsored by Phi Lambda Sigma. Kappa Epsilon,
a brand new professional organization on campus, had a strict no-alcohol policy.
The co-ed group sponsored activities such as ice cream socials and educational projects
such as diabetes and cholesterol awareness, though they were limited due to the
small size of group.
Sausage and Beer, 1994
The Greeks still were an active presence on campus, with the Interfraternal Council
sponsoring a Greek Weekend, complete with a semi-formal dance and a Toga Party,
as well as an orientation picnic behind Alumni Hall. Other IFC events were the Sausage
and Cheer Party, held for years in a backyard on Warren Street , and WAMPA (We Are
Massive Party Animals), held at the Corning Preserve on the Hudson River . Students
attending often were joined by graduates, faculty, family and friends who sported
T-shirts em- blazoned with the party's name.
More serious frat activities included the Rho Pi Phi Poison Prevention project,
Lambda Kappa Sigma's Project Hope (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere),
Kappa Psi's blood drives and the Phi Delta Chi Drug Fair, which brought in pharmaceutical
reps to discuss their products.
In the late '90s, the frats also took on an educational role on campus with the
"Survival Series," presentations that each organization made to incoming freshman
classes, including sessions on date rape, alcohol and drug abuse, sexually transmitted
diseases and stress.
Though Greeks were on the rise and by 1997 constituted 28 percent of the student
population at ACPHS, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding fraternities,
hazing and pledging activities at the College. Frats were banned from going to Alumni
Hall, the freshmen-only dorm, to invite new students or hang posters advertising
Professional organizations at ACPHS included a division of the American Pharmacists
Association Academy of Students of Pharmacy (APhA-ASP) that concentrated on community
service, legislative action and fundraising. The American Chemical Society hosted
dinner lectures on topics such as AIDS research and genetic engineering, and the
New York State Council of Hospital Pharmacists student chapter also was active early
on in the decade. There also were two honor societies, Rho Chi and Phi Lambda Sigma
Pharmacy Leadership Society.
The Outing Club, Photo Club and Ski Club were reactivated during the decade and
a new Music Club and Craft and Quilting Guild were launched. The International Cultural
Awareness Club sponsored the popular International Festival of Nations with ethnic
food, dances and music. Literary publications included Mortar and Pestle , Alembic
Pharmakon and Another Creative Perspective , a journal featuring poetry, short stories,
cartoons, photos and essays.
Sports included men's and women's soccer, with the women's team bringing home a
Colonial Conference championship in 1992 and the Northern Independence Conference
title in 1997 and '99. The men's soccer team also had a successful season in '97,
scoring 10 wins, the most in ACPHS history at the time. Men's basketball was coached
by Packy McGraw, but the women's basketball team struggled throughout most of the
decade and even was disbanded temporarily in 1990, just five years after the 24-1
season of 1985-86, due to lack of participants. Other varsity sports included bowling,
golf and cheerleading, while intramurals included bowling, volleyball and aerobics.
A period of administrative change initiated with Dr. Miller's departure in 1993.
Ronald W. McLean '51 was installed as interim president and kept the College on
a steady course until the appointment of Dr. Lathers as president the following
year. Her focus during the two years she led the College was on building up the
research program to complement the curriculum already in place.
The middle of the decade brought one of the most exciting developments since the
move to New Scotland Avenue with the establishment of the University Heights Association
in 1995. Formed to benefit ACPHS and its three academic neighbors, all of which
had needs for expanded facilities and enhanced services, UHA purchased the former
home of the Christian Brothers Academy and the New York State Armory on New Scotland
Avenue to create a 30-acre campus shared by all four colleges.
ACPHS was landlocked no more, setting the stage for the College's physical expansion
plans at the dawn of the 21 st century.
In 1996, Bobby G. Bryant, Pharm.D., was named interim president while the College
searched for a successor to Dr. Lathers. Dr. Bryant, chair of the Department of
Pharmacy, guided ACPHS through the early years of UHA and was a stabilizing presence
along with Dean White and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Howard D. Colby.
A new tradition was established at ACPHS during Dr. Bryant's tenure with the first
White Coat Ceremony, which took place on October 10, 1997. The ceremony, which formally
recognizes Pharmacy student's entry into the professional years of the curriculum,
was very successful and, by the 1998-99 academic year, parents also were on hand
to witness lab-coated students recite the Pledge of Professionalism.
In 1998, Dr. Gozzo came to Albany from Boston , where he had been dean of the Northeastern
University Bouve College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and a prolific research
scientist in immunology. Under his leadership, ACPHS prepared to embark on a dynamic
growth plan in the new millennium.