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The Bulletin: The First Draft of Institutional History

By Dan Flannagan

Published on May 17, 2021

For more than 150 years The Bulletin has been sharing news of alumni, industry, and the happenings at our institution with alumni and friends. As we celebrate the Bicentennial anniversary of USciences in 2021, we also look back on the history of this publication and how it has been the venue to share the history of USciences. 

Since 1908 The Bulletin has been published continuously, although under several banner variations. But, the first annual alumni report was issued by the Alumni Association in 1865. 

These reports initially included the proceedings of the Association, but soon comprised editorials on a variety of educational and professional topics and updates about the whereabouts and deaths of alumni and other industry greats. In 1874, Joseph P. Remington shared an obituary of sorts upon the death of William Procter: 

“Need I remind you that this was to have been our happiest night, our gala time, our feast of welcome... when these walls were to have echoed the melodious strains of music, when hearty congratulations and peals of merry laughter would have circled round the festive board...what then, has so marred it; why are our plans so changed…why does everyone feel a distaste for the hilarious joke and the hearty laugh, and a heavy pall of sadness rest on each heart? The answer we all know too well. Our greatest has been taken; he whom we all loved and honored—he who at once our adviser, helper, brother, friend—sleeps his last sleep. Professor WILLIAM PROCTER is dead!”

In 1891, the popularity of the annual report resulted in its transition to a more frequent publication dubbed The Alumni Report. In 1891 the report stated: 

“For more than a score of years the Alumni Association…has published annual reports…In the past these reports have been met with marked favor [so there now] comes a change [to] a periodical published not less than eight times each fiscal year… The purpose of this new report is the same as that of the old…It is intended [to] give the latest and best news of college life at the P.C.P. Further than this, it will enable the Alumni Association to keep in touch with the rapidly increasing number of its members; afford them a medium of communication, and carry more fully into effect the fundamental objects of our existence.”

The Bulletin of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy originated in 1908 separate from the Alumni Report, however, in 1911 the publications merged and debuted as the general interest bi-monthly. In 1925 the publication was solely referred to as The Bulletin of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, evolving with the institutions to change its name in 1999 to The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Bulletin, and finally The Bulletin in the fall of 2009.

The Bulletin continues today sharing the latest and best news of life on campus and serves as a connector between alumni and the University community. 

Categories: News, USciences, History