The Start of Something Big

Bicentennial Podcast

Founders & Futurists

Discover our healthcare visionaries and imagine the possibilities ahead as MCPHS celebrates its Bicentennial.

About Founders & Futurists
Evolution With Vision

The Start of Something Big

MCPHS began in response to a need. In the early 19th century, the practice of pharmacy was growing quickly. But there was little oversight among the independently owned businesses that made up the industry.


Creating Solutions for Patients

Concerned about the lack of regulation and the dangers it presented to the public, 14 apothecaries joined together to address the issues at hand and create a better solution. They formed an association to oversee the quality of drugs and train apprentices to dispense them. With an eye on the future, they voted to establish an institution of higher learning that would not only educate generations of healthcare workers, but also help improve the way the industry is run.


What would surprise the founders about today’s MCPHS?


The first building that Massachusetts College of Pharmacy owned was at the intersection of St. Botolph Street and Garrison Street in Boston. A bacteriology laboratory in the building buzzed with activity in 1911.

Throughout the 19th century, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy – the oldest institution of higher education in Boston – worked to systematize and standardize the practice of pharmacy. By embracing the role of change agents willing to challenge norms to shape a better future, our founders created a blueprint for success that helped generate what is arguably the nation’s preeminent school of pharmacy. They maintained momentum in the 20th century, positioning the institution to succeed in the modern era.

We want to be known for the impact of our work in the healthcare sector. We are making a difference in the lives of the populations of various communities across the country and around the world.

Caroline Zeind, PharmD, RPh | Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost


Our Bicentennial is a celebration of all those who worked so hard to get us here. But it also serves as a reminder that the more things inevitably change, the more we must continue to change and grow ourselves. MCPHS is doing its part to nurture healthcare visionaries who imagine a better future for patients all over the world.