UCSF

Town Hall: Bob Day discusses School history

Stories of the School’s past

The UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy has a rich history of contributing to the profession, with the creation of the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD), the innovation of clinical pharmacy, our many important contributions to research, and our newest curriculum. But the School’s history also includes individuals who struggled together through earthquakes, world wars, the tumultuous 1960s, and the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic.

As we all confront what are undoubtedly historic times, we are lucky to have alumnus Bob Day, PharmD ’59, if not the School’s official historian, then its foremost storyteller. Bob served as a faculty member for five decades and is active in the UCSF School of Pharmacy Alumni Association, and he will talk about some of the people and stories from the School’s rich history.

Video transcript

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[Joe Guglielmo]
Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome. I'm Joe Guglielmo, Dean of the UCSF School of Pharmacy. Those of you that are participants, I'm going to remind you of the usual tips before we begin, the audio and video will be automatically muted. Only panelists can unmute themselves, the chat function is disabled. So for the participants, if you have questions, please use the Q&A feature at the bottom of the Zoom. We'll hold all questions to the end. And as always, any outstanding questions will be answered via email or, if anonymous, at the next town hall.

[Joe Guglielmo]
So I just want to spend a couple of minutes. First, I want to remind everybody about a couple of very important upcoming town halls, as well as the Chancellor's upcoming State of the University address. The first town hall will be tomorrow. This is the second town hall meeting which focuses on UCSF's anti-racism initiative. It will be, again, Friday, October 16, tomorrow, at noon and will be taking place via Zoom. This forum will address racism's impact on staff, particularly, and this includes efforts to expand recruitment to increase advancement opportunities, achieve equity, and improve the lived experience at UCSF.

[Joe Guglielmo]
The next one will take place the following Friday, October the 23rd. This will be one focusing on COVID-19 again, and both Desi Kotis, who is our relatively new chief pharmacy executive for UCSF Health, and our Department of Clinical Pharmacy Chair Lisa Kroon will be among the presenters, and their roles will be to specifically speak to pharmacist and learner roles associated with the pandemic.

[Joe Guglielmo]
And then the following Friday will be the State of the University Address with Chancellor Sam Hawgood. Again Friday, October 30. And that will also be at noon. He'll talk about UCSF leadership during this pandemic, response to racial injustice, and addressing our immediate challenges and realization of long term goals.

[Joe Guglielmo]
Separately, I wanted to immediately address a memo that was sent from the UC Office of the President today. And it specifically requested that each campus achieve a minimum of five curtailment days. So these are days off not being paid. In fiscal year 2020-2021. The memo from the president reminded us that we already observe a certain number of these curtailment days per year, particularly around the winter holidays. But the bottom line is they're considering a new systemwide program to achieve additional operational and salary savings. The President stated no final decisions have been made, and that they're seeking feedback from their UC constituency.

[Joe Guglielmo]
I want to remind everybody listening today or watching that UCSF has already provided feedback on how this campus would address shortfalls. And that was all the way up to 10 and 15% shortfalls. I'll remind you that the School of Pharmacy already provided its plans to the chancellor. This did not include furloughs or curtailment days. And I want you to know the first that the campus heard of this was Tuesday. The chancellor and his executive team have evidently addressed it last Tuesday evening, but the School has heard nothing at all. So I just want to let everybody know, at least as dean, I am going under the I'm assuming that in fact, our plan that's already been submitted to the Chancellor is the one we'll stick with and we will have autonomy over any shortfall in funding.

[Joe Guglielmo]
I want to now move into the real focus of today with a couple of quotes. Some of you know that we asked for reflections about the coursework from our students and I thought I would pick two of them, in particular. One is one that should not surprise anybody. It's short. It says, "Without being physically on campus, and not with classmates and colleagues, it's hard to feel like I'm actually a member of the university." A second one, a little bit longer, a little more hopeful. I'll quote. "Hope relies on the individual. We can remind others that the sun is shining behind the clouds, and the storm will eventually clear. But believing what we can't see comes from within. Knowing that others are braving these dark periods with us, helps reminding us that we're not alone. And when someone finds a clearing, or spot of light, they share their revitalized hope with others by reaching out, sending a quick reminder that we are still together, that they are here for us, that the sun still exists. I appreciate everyone in our cohort, I miss you all, thank you for helping me keep my hopes alive."

[Joe Guglielmo]
So these are from our first and second year students, which brings me to the topical program today. And that special focus really is, it focuses on community. And the specific focus today, we want those that are participating today to have a good feel for the history of our community, as well as what it is today, what it will be in the future. To that end, I'm going to hand this over to Grant Burningham, the School's editorial director who will introduce today's guest. I will note to the participants, considering the nature of this town hall, we may allow for the discussion to continue past the half hour, depending upon the number of submitted questions. Grant.

[Grant Burningham]
Thanks, Joe. Yeah, if anyone has any questions either about the School or University, or for Bob Day, feel free to post them. I think a lot of us are aware of at least some of the rich history of the School of Pharmacy, going back to the creation of the PharmD and the innovation of clinical pharmacy all the way up to our newest curriculum. But there's also another history, which is people who struggled together through earthquakes, through world wars, through the AIDS epidemic. And also people who engaged in interdepartmental fights in university politics.

[Grant Burningham]
I think most of us would agree we're living through historic times. And so today, we're very lucky to have alumnus Bob Day, who's the school's foremost storyteller, he wouldn't let me say historian. Bob served as a faculty member for five decades and is active in the Alumni Association. When he edited the alumni newsletter, he started reaching out to different classes, all the living alumni, to get their remembrances of what it was like to go to the school. And so as a result, he's got a very rich history of this place, which he's going to share with us today. Bob, thank you for joining us today.

[Bob Day]
Thank you. It's nice being here. Hello to all the people that know me, former students, faculty, and those maybe that have not yet met. It really is very nice to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

[Grant Burningham]
So some people may know that Parnassus wasn't the first location of our School. But when I was reading over your histories, I was kind of amazed at how the school ended up with Parnassus.

[Bob Day]
Well, first of all, Parnassus is actually our fourth campus. And we were opened in 1871, we actually had rooms we had rented from the Toland School of Medicine. We did that for three years. Those were very small facilities, and we needed to move out almost immediately, which is the reason why we have moved over the years. So our second move was to the Academy of Sciences, in the California Academy of Sciences. And we were there for a short time. And then we moved, after we had been there I guess three or four years. We then got together enough money to construct our own School of Pharmacy building, which we did in downtown San Francisco, on 113 Fulton Street. If you would like to visit that site, you can, but you can't visit the building, obviously, it was destroyed during the 1906 earthquake, which I guess we will talk a little bit about today. But you can visit the site by going down to the City Hall of San Francisco, walking up the steps and stopping about five feet inside. And you will at that point be standing directly over where the School of Pharmacy building was constructed, in 1883.

[Bob Day]
The City Hall of the city of San Francisco bought the property after the earthquake, because we had already vacated and moved to our latest facility, which was then on Parnassus. And that was as you're well aware something that started at around 1881 or '82, with the university at large looking around for space to house its schools of pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and at that time, law. Law never quite made it to join us on the hill there. So they were looking around and there were various sites found, about seven of them in total. And the alumni were invited to visit those sites. I don't really know whether they proved to be satisfactory or unsatisfactory. But somebody came up with an offer I think the university could not refuse. And that was about I donate to you, the Sutro Forest. Now the Sutro Forest was owned by Mayor Adolph Sutro. At that time, they'd have been planted for an entirely different reason. And that was to serve as a source of timber for the growing city of San Francisco. Adolf Sutra was the entrepreneur. And he said, here I got this fast growing timber, and I can construct stuff. Turns out, he learned too late into the game, after planting that entire forest, which you know, today, that the timber in the forest was not suitable for construction, it's smelled bad, it also was a brittle wood. So he had a white elephant on his hands. And that's fortunate because the university could use a white elephant and it did, at that time, accept the gift of the property of Sutro Forest. So we got it because of a failed entrepreneurial scheme, which actually we think about it, it's quite funny. Well, maybe not funny to him. But I think it's funny.

[Grant Burningham]
So tell me about this claim that we used to make that we were the first school west of the Mississippi.

[Grant Burningham]
That was a claim we'd made from the very beginning. We were the 12th School of Pharmacy established in the United States. And we were, at that time, we thought, the very first School of Pharmacy established west of the Mississippi River. But there were people out there who were better at geography than we were. Although ours was precision drug geography, and they were just being picky. Turns out that we've made that claim for close to 100 years. The Dean of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy wrote us a letter, and actually he was a little bit pissed off, and said, hey, you guys, I want you to know, our college is older than your college, and we were built, like 160 feet, this side of the west bank of the west of the Mississippi River. So we changed it, just I think for accuracy purposes, to a I think much greater discounted sound of not the first College of Pharmacy west of the Mississippi, but the first College of Pharmacy in the West, which was true.

[Grant Burningham]
So as I mentioned in my intro, we're living through historic, interesting times. And when I read over your histories, I was kind of amazed at how much the history of the School was the history of the historic and interesting times of the city. And I know you got to correspond with some of the students who were going to school when the 1906 earthquake hit, why don't you tell us a little bit about that?

[Grant Burningham]
Yeah, I was really lucky because I was assigned the newsletter, and I needed to fill it. Frankly, I had no idea how to be an editor and what to fill a newsletter with. And so I began to think about the things that interested me. And the things that interested me were the history of the School of Pharmacy, I'd read parts of it, I'd been given sections of its history, but they were incomplete and not really terribly fulfilling. And none of them had come from students. So I dug into the archives and discovered that we had an address list and this address list had on it, a few people from the Class of 1905 if you can believe it, this was in 1976. And then more people all the way up to about the Class of 1920. But not a very large list. So I said okay, let's find out about what's going on.

[Bob Day]
I wrote to them. Two of them wrote back and they were actually survivors of the 1906 earthquake, they were. One of them was a Class of 1905, Ruben Vaughn. He liked to be called Doc, graduated in 1905 and practiced in San Francisco until he decided he wanted some adventures. So he wanted to go to the Philippines and wanted to be a government pharmacist, and he had to take an examination. So on the night of April the 14th of 1906, he was in a barracks in Vallejo, having taken the examination when the earthquake struck. Basically, what it did was shook him out of his bed, shook books down on him, made the building sway he said like a drunken serpent, and eventually he vacated the building, went out, got breakfast and then learned that San Francisco was in flames, and they needed volunteers, which he volunteered for, and he headed towards San Francisco on a destroyer.

[Bob Day]
On the other hand, we had Charles N. Burchard, a graduate of the Class of 1906. He hadn't graduated yet. He also was awakened by the earthquake, but he looked around his room, books were shaken down, things were askew, but he was a native San Franciscan and he was really quite aware of the antics, the seismic antics of the Bay Area. So he figured, oh what the hell, and he went back to sleep. He woke up later on, and made read to go to school, pulled up the shades of his room he was boarding in at the time. And saw for the first time what the earthquake had done to the surroundings. Basically off in the distance, he could see the steel skeleton of the city hall building, and it had been covered by bricks, and those were all shaken down. And it was only then that he realized the magnitude of the earthquake. He made ready to get out and go to school, not realizing that there would be no school from that point forward in terms of classes, the school was intact, but classes had been canceled, so he had already attended his last day at the university.

[Bob Day]
When I was working in a pharmacy, Charles Burchard was the old pharmacist working behind the counter with me. And he used to tell me stories of the earthquake, which I loved and delighted. One of them was that he was describing the fire and he said, but it wasn't the fire. It wasn't the earthquake, but it wasn't the earthquake, it was the fire, and the fire would not have spread so far, if it hadn't been... and this is a man who was very mild, pounded on the table and said, Those darn dynamiters. It turns out that the National Guard had been authorized to use explosives to basically blow fire paths through some of the buildings along Van Ness Avenue. Those people that did that, evidently, most of them are not experienced with analytic closers. And rather than blowing them away from the fire, they actually blew them across Van Ness Avenue, and the fire was able to progress on its westward march.

[Bob Day]
As far as Burchard was concerned, the city would not have burned so radically, had it not been, as you are well aware, about two thirds of the city burned. Had it not been for as he called them darn dynamiters. Well, it turns out that Doc was one of the darn dynamiters. He had worked in the mines in Montana. And when somebody came around and said, I need somebody to help us blow up some buildings, he basically volunteered for it. And it turns out, he was one of the good dynamiters, because if you read the escapades published in the chronicle of the time, San Francisco Chronicle, the fire was stopped, at certain portions along Van Ness Avenue, it did not progress further.

[Bob Day]
And later, lower parts and across Mission, is where the trouble was caused by the dynamiters. So I've always thought about that. In history, we had two of our graduates. One of them hated the other one, in a sense, not personally, but for what he did. And the other one, being through the innocent of that. It would have been fun to get them in the same room and have them have at each other. But at that time, unfortunately, Charles N Burchard had been dead for about 10 years. And Doc only had about another 10 or so years left himself. He was at that time, 91 years old.

[Grant Burningham]
Another generational moment, which shows up in the remembrances that you collected, was the world wars. Why don't you talk briefly about what pharmacy students did during World War One and World War Two?

[Bob Day]
Well, first of all, as you're well aware, if you were a health practitioner, in many cases, you would be a commissioned officer. But for some reason, pharmacists didn't qualify for that. So if they were drafted, or if they went in and they went into the Pharmacy Corps, they were generally not commissioned, unless they were females. And then they went into the last of the last or whatever they weren't. So if you went into the service, you were likely to be working in a pharmacy but you would be boatswain's mate or a sergeant, working as a staff sergeant in a hospital somewhere in the United States, of which a lot of our graduates did. I shouldn't say they were graduates. They were, yes, they were graduates at the time, but they were given a special permission to graduate late, and I'll tell that story in a moment. But they went into ordinary services in hospital pharmacies, and in dispensaries, and by and large high percentages of them, I'm guessing that probably close to 100% of the males in the classes of 1941-42 went into the service, were drafted, either that or volunteered for it. And those that didn't become pharmacists became pilots, combat troops, Marines. And then all of themselves when I wrote to them shared some of those experiences with me which were too immense to recount now. So yeah, I think that's pretty much what I wanted to say about that.

[Grant Burningham]
Sort of the opposite side of these historical moments were these kind of small human moments you collected, and there was one which jumped out at me, which was a fight over space, which I think probably most of our faculty would relate to. Now, why don't you tell us that story about the fight between the School of Pharmacy and the School of Dentistry?

[Grant Burningham]
I will, Grant. But first of all, I want to put a little bit more polish on that previous statement. During World War Two, our students were going to be graduated, but the school came to an agreement with the draft offices in the federal government, that if they provided an accelerated curriculum, could those students stay in school and actually graduate, get their degree. And the Department of Defense agreed, or the War Department at that time, agreed to it. And so you will find out that in 1942, we had two classes graduating, they call them the class of June and the class of October. So we were able, that was the only time in our history, that we ever graduated, that we ever accelerated the curriculum and graduated students early. Oh, with respect to the I'm sorry, what was your question?

[Grant Burningham]
Yeah, yeah, I was wondering about the space fight. Although I didn't realize that two classes graduated in '42. Just like we will in '21.

[Grant Burningham]
Yeah.

[Grant Burningham]
Yeah, the if you could tell us a story about the School of Dentistry and the School of Pharmacy having a fight.

[Bob Day]
It turns out, it started really in 1909, let's start the story in 1909. The dean is out in the garden of the School of Pharmacy building, it no longer exists. As you know, there were three buildings constructed on the Parnassus ledge, and one of them was School of Pharmacy and Dentistry, a shared building, and then Medicine. I don't remember what the third one was, but anyway. He was out in the pharmacy garden and checking out the faucets and discovered, my god, a water hose had been tapped from the School of Pharmacy garden, and it was watering the garden in the School of Dentistry, which was sufficient for him to come back to the School, report it to the Board of Trustees. They wrote it up in the minutes of the time, and they had the faucet cap, and the bill sent to the School of Dentistry for the water that it had purloined. They might say, god, what was the deal, that was just a faucet. But it was really truly revealing an underlying irritation that went back a couple of years earlier. And it was related to I think probably a sense of getting even any way, they could, the faucet might be it. And what happened is the Dean of the School of Dentistry decided that they needed more space, and talked to the president of the university with a. Dean Searby, dean at the time was meeting within with the President about a week later. And the President said very casually, hey, do you have some extra space that we can give to the School of Dentistry. And Dean Searby was like any dean even today, cautious, he said, Well, yeah, maybe a small room. And so the president of the university, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, said, Okay, I'm going to send an inspection team over including the Dean of the School of Dentistry at the time, Guy S. Millberry, these are all famous names within the university, the Millberry Union, BNL, to come to the school and he would escort them on a tour and show them the space available, Searby later reported, I did show them a few small rooms. But they were not satisfied with them, it was apparent that they were after our, and they said in capital letters, lecture hall. There was a major lecture hall, probably one of several the School of Pharmacy had, that the School of Dentistry wanted. And it wasn't a very useful, obviously, lecture hall to the school. But it was also part of their position in terms of when they decided to affiliate with the university, that hall didn't exist, but they had property and that was transferred over to the University at that time. So they thought that it was their building to control anyway, their offices, their plan, their lecture hall, to control any way they wanted to. But they were wrong. The president of the university basically said nice, nice, nice, and then wrote a letter and a couple of days later, saying, we've decided to turn the hall over to the School of Dentistry, and, as you agreed, he said. But of course, Searby immediately responded, I didn't agree to anything, and your basic plan is to destroy our lecture hall. But the point is that he lost, School of Dentistry won. And there was a sort of smoldering resentment there for years about that room, which surfaced over a tiny little faucet in this School of Pharmacy garden.

[Bob Day]
That really wasn't the end of it. There is a later report in the minutes of the Board of Trustees that the dean also did a second inspection to check and make certain that none of the gas lines were connected to the School of Dentistry as well. And he reported back that they weren't. So that was where that thing stood, a bill, a tap faucet, I have no idea what the School of Dentistry did for water for it's garden.

[Grant Burningham]
So I think a lot of people on this call, we're probably involved in our most recent pharmacy revolution, which was our new curriculum. But as your career shows, and as your history shows, this is just one of several reinventions at the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

[Bob Day]
The School of Pharmacy curriculum has been almost from the day was initially conceived by our founders, as they kind of like a living curriculum never quite settled down, they were always in search of something else. And that's something else they couldn't quite put their finger on for the first century or so. So they tried several experiments. The first experiment was in it, these are all Incidentally, failed experiments. But they turned out to be very fortunate for the school was to increase its science load. A student who went to School of Pharmacy across the nation generally did not get much science, or hardly any. We were one of the first and it appears in the minutes of our faculty to decide that we wanted to make our school outstanding in the sciences for its students. And so therefore, as a result of that chemistry and a lot of eventually organic chemistry and eventually advanced organic chemistry beyond that were established within the curriculum. But the overall goal is to prepare the pharmacist to do something. But they weren't certain yet of what that was there was a holy grail out there. Wow, wouldn't it be great to make the pharmacist a fantastic drug advisor to the physician that was so vague and so inconsistent, that everybody had an idea. That's what the pharmacists should be doing. Nobody had an idea of how to do it. So we went through several other experiments, which along the line went transferred to a drug product formulation, curriculum. I was trained into that. When I graduated, I knew everything I could tell you about our Drug and Cosmetic or etc, pharmacy product was made, I can tell you it's chemistry, I think compared to 16 or 17 other chemicals that it was a time of "me too drugs," when everybody was manufacturing, lots of drugs that were just slightly a little different things will change in a methyl group sticking off of the into space that made it a different drug. The "me too drugs" was a big problem. And the school at that time predicted the future the pharmacist was to serve as an advisor, again to physicians on the basis of the fact, "Hey, this new drug is not really a new drug much. It's just a little teeny with improvement. It doesn't change anything. It changes the absorption rate, but that's about it." I think. So, but that wasn't it turned out to be a dead end, in a sense as well. And then Jere Goyan attended a meeting back east and I guess it was in 1961, thereabouts. And he came back depressed. And he said, Jere, I was at that time, Associate Dean assistant he had he said he was depressed. And the reason he was depressed was here. He just attended a major health conference. And no pharmacists had been invited to be a participant in the panels to talk about the future of health care. And there were pharmacists in the audience with their coattail that they'd heard about Jere had been one of those. And he came back really depressed about that. And he said, we've got to do something about that. And as it turns out, what happened is he and a group of the other members of the faculty got together and sort of plotted something that was going on in the School of Dental School in the in the nursing unit on the ninth floor of the medical science building at UCSF. And basically that experiment was to throw out nursing practices, they knew it and to sort of reinvent it a new and that provided the Jere with the basically the battlefield or if you will, the experimental ground he needed to test out a new role model for pharmacists, which was that as a drug therapist, but first of all, we had to learn what went on in drug therapy. We didn't know that we hadn't been trained that I was trained in pharmacology. I could tell you everything about I can tell you how the drug this package that was made. But I couldn't tell you much about which drug you should use if he had to pick one in any given set of situations. And the secret to that was understanding what went on in the diagnostic area. That's what we tried to learn and did learn. From the first crew that we sent off into that hospital, young pioneers each one of Joe Hirshman, Bob Miller oh god, I'm gonna be unhappy, I left with the name, there were four of them. And they were pioneers who basically went in and found out what it was that pharmacists could do. So that's when the drug the curriculum moved toward the Clinical Pharmacy area, I have to tell you, that for each of these changes, we had the full cooperation of all faculty. It was never ever a controversial area. But somebody said, we've got to go this way if they received an explanation as to why we did. And so Clinical Pharmacy was warmly embraced even by the basic sciences. And that would be strange if you talk told that story to schools of pharmacy elsewhere, because they were highly competitive departments. The school the science departments are highly competitive for their budgets. They were they were, they hold on to them as tight as they could. And at Clinical Pharmacy, we've acquired a whole new expenditure that they were sure they wanted to support. And so most people across the nation will tell you that their farm the switch from the BS to the PharmD was a battle, or it was not, it was a concerted effort. And, and the faculty voted it in the Clinical Pharmacy career, they first of all voted in the PharmD degree about 10 years earlier. And then in 19, in 1960, somewhere there were there abouts voted in unanimously, the Clinical Pharmacy curriculum. And this we established for the very first time in pharmacy education, the notion that the pharmacist should be a clinician, and it was, it was a basically, in a sense, Earth shaking. Although a lot of people told us we were wrong, we have never worked anywhere, but UCSF. So that's the four evolutions we went through. I can't talk about the most recent one, because frankly, I have not been a part of it. I've been often the land of retirement.

[Grant Burningham]
Well you deserve it. I'll just mention briefly, for everyone who's watching it, we are going to go a little bit long. So if you want to jump off, we're going to be posting the full video tomorrow. Another question for you, Bob. You mentioned working for Jere Goyan. He was not only our Dean, but also the first pharmacist to occupy the position of the United States commissioner of food and drugs. And I understand you were privy to some of the background politics on that move.

[Bob Day]
Probably not so much the background politics, the background events. You have ... but at the time Jere was appointed FDA Commissioner. In a very real sense, the entire world of science was in was in turmoil, we had decided to put a man on the moon. And by then we had, we didn't change everything immensely, including research, including medical care, just everything was changed on the basis of the monies that were made available to put a guy on the moon and back by whatever it was the year and so on. Jere was a part of a new wave of people that said, let's read look at the profession of pharmacy and let's let me look at what it is we've been doing. Up to that point in time promises refilling prescriptions, not advising physicians much never doing it, but not much. And doing it at a level that was quite different from that which less than 10 years later, all pharmacists would be capable of. The other side of that coin was that they were they were see I'm losing my train of thought. Thomas's we're see now you've seen Bob day that the senile guy

[Bob Day]
okay, the

[Bob Day]
maybe you can help me can you

[Grant Burningham]
tell me about Jere Goyan and how he ended up...

[Bob Day]
On the other side of it, Jere became what was known as a patient advocate even then, meaning he decided that the patient should be at the center of health care, and should be a part of the decision process, not just a person who receives health care but should actually participated, which is the way you and I experienced medicine and health care today. But at that time, medicine was generally kept secret. I as a patient went to a physician, I had a problem. I discussed it with him. He prescribed something for me and I would get very little if any information on what the drug was, how it was, how it should be properly dosed, what side effects to look out for etc. So the notion was in those days The less the patient knows, the less they'll develop the side effects and the bad and the beds in the beds, but the side effects of the drug etc. I am simplifying now. But that basically was much the way it was. So the knowledge to the basic situation that was patients are in the not know, they were kept in the dark purposely. Because, you know, they just couldn't handle it. If they had the information in the hands. Jerry had not believed that during the fact felt, that it was, if anything, a detriment to their health, that they should be an active participant they should say, "Hey, you know, that sounds okay, let's not do this, let's do that." He never saw that as the ... totally true to that vision. But that's basically what he was talking about. So that put him in conflict with a lot of traditional people in medicine, in the pharmaceutical industry. And he received letters and he received complaints, the Chancellor got a letter, telling them to fire this guy, because he's talking heresy. He was talking about patients, the patients, but he called the patient's right to know, which is the way it is today. And so that way, so he was ahead of his time, that put him on notice, from certain people, that this was a guy to contend with. On the other hand, the president the United States had decided it was time to take them up to our agencies, federal agencies and wipe them clean the dust of centuries of, of stasis and centuries of old fashioned ideas about whatever it was. And he decided to add one of the things he would do would be to basically we reinvent our half people reinvent the, the agencies in which they were in charge. And he heard about Jere Goyan, at least to his I shouldn't say he heard about it, but his, his aides etc, heard about Jere Goyan. So this thing that he was Jere was doing put him in the forefront. And because of that, the one day and I forget what year it was, he received a phone call from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, telling him that he was one of nine finalists, for the chair of for the position of FDA Commissioner. Now that didn't happen both out of the blueJere, by that time, become a force to contend with, in pharmacy education circles, and in pharmaceutical sciences as well. So it wasn't as though it was a bolt that struck him on the way to Damascus. He did come as quite a surprise. But anyway, so that was when he first learned that he was being considered for that position. And he obviously,

[Grant Burningham]
We are going to cut off here in about six minutes. And I want to grab a couple questions for you. Bob, this one's from David Adler. Historically, how did the Golden Gate Park drug experiences in the summer of '67 and '68 impact the School of Pharmacy?

[Bob Day]
Oh, well, David's in a better position to tell, Hello, David, David's in a better position to tell that story than I am. David was one of the activist students who said hey, Bob came into my office and said, there's this thing called the Haight Ashbury clinic and we should be getting involved in it. Excuse me And and so we did and as you're well aware, and as David is well aware, I forgotten some of the details. Excuse me, but we had a crew, a volunteer pharmacy students working down in the Haight Ashbury clinic to revitalize it to, to reorganize it and to do other such things is that at that same time, these very same group of students, David, Louana Louendodini, five or six others maybe more, decided that drug education was important, and that the reason that people were taking these drugs was they didn't understand this was the psychedelic age, that they if they were going to take them, they should understand how to take them safely, and hopefully not take them at all, if they were the drugs that were going to cause them some problems. So they begin to a to organize speaking, groups that went out to the various schools, grammar schools, high schools, etc. giving a talk not so much about Don't do this. Don't do that. You it's nasty, but if you're going to do it, do it carefully or whatever. It wasn't quite that cautious. But, but anyway, so they went out and gave these talks. On that basis, they were awarded a national award from the American Pharmacists Association, and award that was ordinarily given only to associations. I forget what it was called. But it was a national award recognizing education, I think was called the PAC pharmacy Education Award. Because they not only went out and gave these educational lectures, they created videotapes, and distributed them to various people that are in charge of educating students. So it was quite an activist group. And, David, thank you for asking the question. I don't ordinarily think about those days, but, but that was a an important time.

[Grant Burningham]
This one's from Luke. So if you woke up tomorrow as a 20-year-old man in your first year of pharmacy school, knowing all the history, you know, now Do you do with your time? And what's your time? An easy one...

[Bob Day]
Look, I look, I don't have any crazy directions to get you there because I would do things just as I did. My life turned out for me to be so wonderful. So rich, so full. And it was full. It was fulfilled by people like you by, by the School by the sale of my fellow faculty and by the history of the School, which as I said before, it's so rich and so vibrant, and not doing a good job of telling you all about it. Because there are thousands of stories like the ones I've told you, hopefully wouldn't take quite as long. That would show certainly if you didn't know that before, give you a boost of some pride and that thing that you had become became part of when you went here. And furthermore, when you graduated from here, so look, sorry, no, no great thing I would have accomplished any differently.

[Grant Burningham]
This one's from Marian. I graduated in 1954. What was the last year the old pharmacy dental buildings in us?

[Bob Day]
What was the last year the one?

[Grant Burningham]
The old pharmacy dental building?

[Bob Day]
I don't exactly No, I do know that, we had some lectures in there and suffered an earthquake in there. In 1950, some odd, it was torn down to make way for what was known as the HSE and HSW buildings of campus. It was slated to go It was always going to go but it was an interim sort of like halfway house. And we had classes in that various offices of that build various laboratories and offices of that building. But the precise here that I don't remember who he was gone, not an he was there when I was there. And I was 1958 to 60. So I think as a student, so 1955 to 58. So I think it was torn down shortly after I became a member of the faculty but I'm not really sure for that.

[Grant Burningham]
And maybe just one more. This one's from James Kolbert. Dr. Day. It's my understanding that Dr. Bob Gibson was the first African-American dean appointed to the School of Pharmacy. How is it decided to have him be part of the school's leadership?

[Bob Day]
The first African-American What did he say? I'm sorry,

[Grant Burningham]
African-American Dean appointed.

[Bob Day]
Dean's title. Yeah, okay. Yeah, he was Bob. I mean, how do you how do you explain Bob, Bob was always a phenomenon. For the time I first met him, and even before he had, he had chosen pharmacy later in his life, he got really late, but he had been a chemist before and done that a couple of years and said, I don't like this met with Dean Troy C. Daniels at that time. And they said, Hey, how about coming to the School of Pharmacy because he was a hospital pharmacist at that time, because he had graduated from he came to our School and graduated but, but it was the PharmD degree that lowered him back even further. So, as I recall, Bob was appointed as assistant dean for Student Affairs by Jere Goyan, oh, early 1960s. And his task at that time, was to basically help us integrate as much more as possible. The curriculum, we were almost an absolutely we were almost white in some, to some extent, slightly Asian schools that time or African-American population was very low. And as he was given the task of trying to equalize the numbers, Bob did not only that, but he did it nationally. And he changed the way that schools of pharmacy recruited students. And there are thousands and thousands of minority students out there who do not know that they owe a debt of gratitude to Bob, who set off on an endless mission to convince the schools of pharmacy through the American Association of Colleges of pharmacy other groups to increase the recruitment of African-Americans, Latinos, Chinese, although that was never a real problem for us. And of any other minority above was in charge of that for years, but appointed because he was the obvious guy. He likes students, they liked him. And when it came time to find somebody carry to take up this task, Bob was the obvious person for that.

[Grant Burningham]
Okay, Bob, I think we've got to leave it there. Thank you so much for sharing some of your time at the at the School of Pharmacy and your passion for the history of pharmacy. And just a reminder, if you have any, if anyone has any questions for Joe, please post them in the q&a and we will circle back to you and make sure that we get to them. Thank you again, Bob.

[Bob Day]
You're welcome. Let's be here.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo]
So I think it's back to me. So, first of all, thank you, Bob. That was a remarkable interview. And I hope that we're going to repeat that experience in the future. You've reminded us how rich our history is, and the community that the school has always had. And for those that were unaware of our rich past and community, I hope it gives confidence to the craziness of our community today that we will build on the strengths of yesterday to a better tomorrow. So thank you, grant for the interview. And for all of you. Thank you for staying a little bit late with us. I'm sure that you all was worth it to hear the great Bob day. And with that, I'll say goodbye. Stay well. And until next time, good night.


About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.