March 27, 2015  

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to Host the 3rd Annual Legacy Leaders Spring Gala April 9


LOS ANGELES—On Thursday, April 9, 2015,Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) Legacy Leaders Spring Gala, Honoring Legends -- Champions for Health and Education Access, presented by Dignity Health will be held at the historic Beverly Hilton Hotel from 6-9pm.

This year, the CDU Legacy Leaders Spring Gala will honor Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of the California Endowment and Dr. Cornelius L. Hopper, current Member of the Board of Trustees, two individuals – “legends” – whose life and work has helped guide CDU through some difficult times to its current state of financial stability and growth.

Proceeds from the event will contribute to training future health providers that are as diverse as California’s population and to the University’s one-of-kind pipeline program, Saturday Science Academy II.

Dr. Ross is president and chief executive officer of The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in September 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000.

A current CDU member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Hopper is the Emeritus Vice President for Health Affairs for the University of California System.

The two men have worked tirelessly to support Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, advocating for its needed investments to sustain and grow the University so that it can continue to fulfill its mission.

“I am absolutely delighted that Dr. Ross also agreed to be an honoree for the Legacy Gala, said our co-honoree Dr. Hopper.  “He and The California Endowment have been absolutely critical sustaining forces in the life and evolution of CDU at pivotal points during the past two decades, and the University's current success is, in no small measure, a reflection of that commitment.  I look forward to the event and will be deeply honored to share the "stage" with my good friend and mentor, Dr. Ross.”

Dr. Ross sees Dr. Hopper similarly:  “On behalf of The California Endowment, I am thrilled to be honored by the Charles Drew University family, alongside my great friend and mentor, Dr. Cornelius Hopper.  Even better, I am pleased to participate, in some small way, in celebrating the resurgence of the great Charles Drew University,” said Dr. Ross.

Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of CDU often speaks highly of both honorees. "During a time when the University needed it most, Dr. Ross and Dr. Hopper intervened to ensure that CDU was positioned to continue serving the underserved communities we reach out to. These esteemed leaders believe the University is a beacon of hope and remain two of our biggest advocates."

Presented by Dignity Health, the signature University event will be a one-of-a kind evening with live entertainment provided by Jacob Lusk, Finalist , Season 10, American Idol, Nikki Potts, of the Kurt Carr Singers and Damien Lawson, Finalist, Season 7, “The Voice”. Back to emcee this year is NBC4 reporter Toni Guinyard.

Event sponsors also include: Diamond Sponsor: David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA;
Gold Sponsors:  Kaiser Permanente and The California Endowment; and Silver Sponsors: Office of L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Comerica Bank and numerous other friends of the University. Our media sponsor is the Los Angeles Sentinel.

For ticket information, please call (323) 357-3669 or purchase online at



For more information, please contact:
Isidra Person-Lynn, MA
Communications Specialist
Phone: (323) 563-5833 | Mobile: (213) 422-8707





About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,700 post-graduate physicians, more than 1,200 physician assistants, 560 nurses and hundreds of other health professionals. CDU’s mission is to conduct education, research and clinical services in the context of community engagement to train health professionals who promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion, and transform the health of underserved communities. For more information, visit


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A Private University with a Public Mission

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