From a commencement address. A prominent Kentucky physician, Yandell was instrumental in moving a medical institute to Louisville over the objections of its rival city, Lexington. The fight was vicious; a Louisville paper wrote that the lunatic asylum associated with the institute could remain in Lexington since its “present race of statesmen will likely need an asylum.” The Louisville School of Pharmacy for Women was founded in 1883; it closed a decade later, after women were admitted to the main college starting in 1890.
The School of Pharmacy for Women is the first of its kind in America. You are its maiden alumnae.
The institution is the result of the enterprise and thought of a handful of earnest men and women who believed that such a school was needed. It is an experiment. You, as the firstborn of the institution, will carry with you not only the hopes which always center in such children, but you will be followed wherever you go by the best wishes of all good men and women in this community.
Having adopted a commercial pursuit, one which has hitherto been, in this portion of the country at least, occupied exclusively by men, you should not be discouraged if the fine qualities you have shown in the classroom do not meet quick recognition over the prescription counter. You have chosen to align yourselves with man. You have become his competitor for bread, his rival in work. Look for no other treatment than that he gives his fellows. The lines of commerce are merciless, and true banking knows no friends. The homage which has hitherto been spontaneously yielded you will, in one sense, be rendered you no more. Your Mother Hubbards will no longer cause men to bow down at your feet, and though you may anoint their eyes, they shall not again see you as before. You have elected this. Competition in pharmacy—rivalry in work—you will find no less sharp than men find it. Your elbows must be put to use now in making your way through the world. Many hands that were once held out to you will now have their backs turned toward you. All this you must expect. Let it not dishearten you. The very qualities which have brought you to this post winners shall make you also winners in the fields that are before you. And though the rewards which they contain may not be all that you hope and far less than you deserve, your lives, if they be but true and simple, shall surely also be useful.