The History of The Bulletin


By Dan Flanagan
Although The Bulletin has been published continuously since 1908 (under several banner variations), its  true origins harken back to the first annual report that the Alumni Association issued in 1865. Originally these reports comprised little more than the Association’s proceedings but soon editorials on a variety of educational and professional topics crept into the format alongside people’s reported whereabouts and the deaths of great men:

“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!”—JOSEPH P. REMINGTON in the 1874 annual report at the annual alumni reception.

1985_Vol78No4In 1891, the popularity of the annual report resulted in its transition to a more frequent publication dubbed The Alumni Report.

“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 Alumni Report, November 1891

The Bulletin of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
originated in 1908 as a separate entity alongside 1925Vol18No1The Alumni Report. This version of the Bulletin, however, was nothing more than a course catalog; a replacement for the outdated pamphlet that formerly served. But it was only a matter of time before a merger occurred, and in 1911 the combined Bulletin of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Alumni Report debuted as a general interest bimonthly with an annual course catalog supplement. Then, in 1925, the Alumni Report fell away from the title, which proceeded henceforth as The Bulletin of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. The annual catalog issue (the original Bulletin's raison d'etre) persisted as a supplement for decades to come.

In time further adjustments affected the title but none more profound than its change to The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia Bulletin in 1999 (shortened almost immediately to The USP Bulletin.) The latest adaptation, to The Bulletin, happened in the fall of 2009.

As the saying goes, the more things change the more they remain the same. The Bulletin exists today as part of a continuum that links the past to the future in an unbroken chain of stories forming the permanent institutional memory of USciences.


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