From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)
William R Schultz.pdf

Schultz, William Robert, Jr.

(born: May 10, 1929  -  died: September 2, 1983) 

In 1954 William R. Schultz, Jr. was the first African American to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) with a pharmacy degree. In newspaper accounts of his achievements, he is also said to be the first African American to earn a pharmacy degree in Kentucky. He was also the first to become a member of the pharmaceutical honor society Rho Chi Alpha Xi as well as a member of the pharmaceutical fraternity Kappa Psi Upsilon Chapter, both organizations at the University of Kentucky. He was the 1954 Senior Class Vice President.

Schultz had earned a B.S. in chemistry at the University of Louisville (KY) in 1951. He graduated with his B.S. in pharmacy at the University of Kentucky in 1954; he had become  a pharmacy student just after UK acquired the independent Louisville College of Pharmacy. In 1946, the Pharmacy College became a division of the University of Kentucky, with the physical campus still in Louisville but the name changed to the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. Schultz attended school in Louisville, graduating three years before the entire college, including all students, staff, and faculty, was moved from Louisville to the UK campus in Lexington in 1957.

After his graduation from the Pharmacy College, Schultz taught pharmacy at Florida A&M University for one year, then entered civil service employment with the U.S. Army as a pharmacist in charge of the dispensing department at Ireland General Hospital in Fort Knox, KY, [hospital history]. He remained in that job from 1956-1961; he was listed as an employee of the U.S. Army in the 1956 Louisiville city directory. In 1960, he was named "The Outstanding Kentuckian" by the Louisville Defender newspaper.

In 1961, Schultz moved to Battle Creek, MI, to complete a Ph.D. in Pharmacy at the University of Michigan. While there, he served as the vice president of the Battle Creek NAACP Branch until he resigned in 1964 to dedicate more time to his studies. Schultz took a six months leave from his job in 1965 and received his doctorate in May 1965. He was married and had three children. After earning his doctorate, Schultz returned to his employment as the assistant chief of the Veterans Administration Hospital's Pharmacy Services. In 1966, Schultz transferred to the Somerville, NJ, VA Supply Depot pharmacy service.

William Robert Schultz, Jr. was born in Louisville, the son of Roberta S. Stone and William Robert Schultz, Sr. His parents divorced in 1932, and William and his sister were living with their father and two aunts, according to the 1940 U.S. Census. His father was a mail carrier in Louisville. William Jr. had been living in Wyoming, MI prior to his death in Grand Rapids, MI, in 1983. He is buried in the Grandville Cemetery.

Sources: "City Statistics: News of the courts," The Courier-Journal, 5/5/1932, p. 21; William R. Schultz in the NKAA entry African American Undergraduates at University of Kentucky; The 1954 Kentuckian, pp. 169, 171, & 404, online at ExploreUK; UK College of Pharmacy: Our History, a website; Kentucky Birth Index in Ancestry; U.S. Social Security Applications and Index in Ancestry; "Louisville Area Deaths: Dr. William R. Schultz, Jr.," The Courier-Journal, 9/4/1983, p. B11; Michigan Death Index in Ancestry; Dr. William R. Schultz, Jr. at Find A Grave; Caron's Louisville (Jefferson County, KY.) City Directory, 1956, p. 1000; "Boards new president of local NAACP unit," Battle Creek Enquirer and News, 2/13/1964, p. 7; "Federal Notebook: William R. Schultz, Jr.," The Battle Creek Enquirer and News, 1/10/1965, p. 28; "Pharmacist gets doctor's degree," The Battle Creek Enquirer and News, 5/15/1965, p. 14; and "Federal Notebook: William R. Schultz, Jr.," The Battle Creek Enquirer and News, 5/29/1966, p. 8.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Schultz, William Robert, Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-02-15 03:09:21