HPU welcomes inaugural pharmacy class, 1,500 new students and 48 new faculty

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 18, 2016

HIGH POINT The Piedmont Triad’s only pharmacy school will welcome its inaugural class next week when High Point University kicks off a new academic year.

In addition to establishing the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, HPU will welcome 48 new faculty and 1,500 new students, bringing total enrollment to 4,800 when classes begin on Aug. 23.

Students return to a campus where new academic offerings and major expansion projects are underway. They include the following:

Expansion highlights:

Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy – Much progress has been made on the complex to house the Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, which will open in late spring 2017. At $120 million, these schools are the largest investment in HPU’s history. The 224,000-square-foot, four-story complex is housed on the main HPU campus with more than 200 contracted construction personnel working on site daily. Programs to be housed here include physician assistant studies (began in 2015), pharmacy (begins this month) and physical therapy (slated for 2017).

The complex will include advanced laboratory space such as a musculoskeletal lab, neuroscience lab, cadaver lab, physical exam skills lab, clinical skills lab, eight problem-based learning rooms, critical care simulation room, emergency simulation room, vivarium and much more. Physician assistant and pharmacy students will use renovated and redesigned classroom space until the facility opens.

Community Rehabilitation Clinic – The Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab, currently located at a temporary space on Mall Loop Road, will move to the new facility, allowing the temporary space to be transformed into a pro bono physical therapy clinic next year.

New residence hall – Ground was broken this summer for a new 150,000-square-foot residence hall to accommodate HPU’s growing enrollment. The $23 million facility will house 310 students and be constructed near Cottrell Hall. It is expected to open in fall 2017.

It will be the 10th residential facility HPU has added to its campus since 2005.

The undergraduate sciences facility and arena and conference center that were announced in April are on the horizon as well.

Academic highlights: 

Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy – HPU has established the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, the Piedmont Triad’s only pharmacy school, which will welcome its first cohort this fall. The students will use renovated and redesigned classroom space until the Congdon School of Health Sciences and Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy complex opens in late spring 2017. The pharmacy program is HPU’s second doctoral degree-granting program.

The White Coat ceremony for the inaugural class will be held at 5 p.m. on Aug. 19 in the Wanek Center cinema.

HPU’s first pharmacy class has 60 students representing 12 states, through the majority of students hail from North Carolina. Approximately 50 percent of students are female and approximately 50 percent are male.

48 new faculty – A total of 48 new faculty will join the HPU family this fall. They represent a variety of positions, from pharmacy and health science-related programs, to communication, business, religion and more. Their arrival represents a 178 percent increase in faculty positions in the last decade. In 2005, HPU had 108 faculty members; today, there are 300 faculty on campus.

Doctor of Physical Therapy now accepting applications – On Aug. 5, the physical therapy doctoral program reached the step in accreditation where interested students can begin applying. The common application for PT programs is PTCAS (Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service). The site is www.ptcas.org. This program is slated to begin in 2017. It will be the university’s third doctoral degree program.

B.A. to M.Ed. program in educational leadership – HPU’s School of Education continues to expand its offerings of graduate degree options for educators. Through this program, students can obtain a master’s degree in educational leadership in just five years. Educational leadership was also HPU’s first doctoral degree program, which graduated its first cohort in May.

Common Experience: “Growing Our Future” – Each year, HPU engages new students across academic disciplines as they make the transition to college. Through this year’s Common Experience theme, titled “Growing Our Future,” new students have been reading “The American way of eating” over the summer. They’ll hear from the book’s author later this semester and take part in an array of programming related to the theme throughout the year. They’ll also donate a copy of their favorite childhood book to schools in High Point when they arrive to campus.

Part of this year’s programming is the “The grapes of wrath” performed by HPU theatre. The performances include a community night at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 19. A talk-back panel featuring local leaders will take place after the show to discuss the play, its messages about hunger, and how those messages relate to hunger and food security in Guilford County.