Celebrating Black History: Wendell T. Hill Jr. (1924-1995)

WTHJSpecial Note: During the Month of February, Black History Month, will be highlighting African Americans who have contributed significantly during the profession.

Wendell Talbot Hill Junior was born in 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but was raised in New Jersey. Hill served time in the Army during World War II. Once he returned from the war, he went on to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Hill also attended the University of Southern California where he received his masters and doctoral degrees in pharmacy. Upon graduation, he continued to teach at the University of Southern California between the years 1950-1960. During this time, he also became the chief pharmacist at the Orange County Medical Center in California. (1)

In 1977, Hill moved across the country to Washington, D.C. and took on the position of Dean of Pharmacy at Howard’s College of Pharmacy from 1977-1994. While being the Dean of Pharmacy, Dr. Hill was famously known for assisting in establishing the pharmacy school as well as assisting in the school gaining accreditation. (2) Along with being the Dean of Students, he also held many respected positions such as the president of the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists.

Hill received many prestigious honors such as the Bowl of Hygeia from the A. H. Robbins Pharmaceutical Company. He also was awarded The A. K. Whitney Award  in 1989 from American Society of Hospital Pharmacists. (1) At the beginning of his acceptance speech he stated, “Receiving this award is the highest point of my 39-year career in pharmacy”. (3, p292) Sadly, Hill passed away on March 18, 1995 due to cancer. (1) In the year 1997 though, Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences posthumously presented Dr. Hill the Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor Award. (2)


  1. Wendell T. Hill Jr. Dies at 70 [Internet]. The Washington Post; 1995 March 23 [cited 2015 September 15]. Available from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1995/03/23/wendell-t-hill-jr-dies-at-70/1fa70690-b5bb-4120-8ad0-cf32c7655457/
  2. Katie Knorvosky. Drake to Honor Wendell T. Hill Jr. with Weaver Medal [Internet]. Drake University; 2007 April 13 [cited 2015 September 15]. Available from: http://news.drake.edu/2007/04/13/drake-to-honor-wendell-t-hill-jr-with-weaver-medal/
  3. Wendell T. Hill, Jr. Taking Charge of the Profession [Internet]. ASHP: 1989 [cited 2015 September 15]. Available from: http://www.harveywhitney.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/1989.pdf

Contributed by: Jessica Rizzo, P3, Class of 2017

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