Isidra Person-Lynn
Communications Specialist
Phone: (323) 563-5833
Cell: (213) 422-8707
Fax: (323) 568-3339



April 13, 2017

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to Host 5th Annual Legacy Leaders Spring Gala on April 13th

Fundraiser for Students Will Recognize Heirs of Namesake Charles R. Drew, Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman, LA County Board of Supervisors, and Dr. Wilbert Jordan, Founder and Director of the Oasis Clinic.


LOS ANGELES, CA —Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) will host its 5th Annual Legacy Leaders Spring Gala—Honoring Legends, Championing Our Mission— on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California 90210. The reception starts at 6 p.m and dinner begins at 7 p.m.

The annual Gala pays tribute to individuals who have helped CDU fulfill its mission to train healthcare leaders to provide care with excellence and compassion. This year, the Gala will honor
Dr. Charles R. Drew, the namesake of CDU, with his heirs in attendance to accept: Bebe Drew Price, Charlene Drew Jarvis, PhD, Sylvia Drew Ivie, JD, and Charles Richard Drew, Jr. (Posthumously); the Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District who also serves as Chair of the CDU Board of Councilors; and a 37 year staff physician and faculty member Wilbert C. Jordan, MD, Founder and Director, Oasis Clinic and AIDS Program, a pioneering collaboration between CDU and Los Angeles County.

“The Legacy Leaders Spring Gala annually provides an opportunity for the University to pay tribute to legends and leaders who have and are paving the way for CDU to stand tall in its Mission to provide access to health services for those who need it most,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of CDU. “They also provide health professions educational opportunities for students who are underrepresented and who often feel isolated at other institutions. For these reasons, we are honored and proud to celebrate this year’s honorees.”

The evening will include a performance by the world renowned Barbara Morrison and her 9-piece orchestra. Returning as mistress of ceremonies for the 5th straight year is veteran NBC4 general assignment reporter Toni Guinyard.

The gala is one in a series of events throughout the year designed to raise funds and recognize CDU’s 50 years of training outstanding health professionals. On August 22, 1966, CDU was founded following the Watts Revolt, to address the inadequate access to healthcare in the community of Watts and greater South Los Angeles. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit Student Services, which enhances students’ experience at CDU  in its mission to train diverse healthcare professionals by providing scholarships and support. Proceeds will also support CDU community pipeline programs, including its premier Saturday Science Academy II, an impactful pipeline program that encourages K-12 South Los Angeles students to excel in math, science and technology.  

Make your online ticket purchase by April 5th at, or call the Office of Strategic Advancement at 323.357.3669. For updates, follow #CDUSpringGala on social media.

Sponsors of the Legacy Leaders Spring Gala include--Gold: Office of the Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, L.A. County, Kaiser Permanente and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Silver: The California Endowment, CBS Corporation, AECOM, and Comerica Bank. Media sponsors are the Los Angeles Sentinel and PACE News. 

Table Sponsors are Dr. David M. Carlisle, Dr. and Mrs. Norman C. Cottman, Jr., Bebe Drew Price, Dr. Steve O. Michael, Cedars Sinai, RFP Insurance Agency, Inc., Dr. Margaret Avila and AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

ABOUT the Heirs of Dr. CHARLES R. DREW, CDU’s Namesake Dr. Charles R. Drew was an Educator, innovator, surgeon and inventor
Dr. Charles Richard Drew and his wife M. Lenore Drew had four children. His three daughters will be in attendance at the gala to accept the award on his behalf: Bebe Drew Price, a former educator, wife of Dr. Kline Price, and mother of 4 children; Charlene Drew Jarvis, PhD, a former City Council Member in the District of Columbia, Neuro-scientist at the National Institute of Health, and President of Southeastern College. Charlene is the mother of two sons, and wife of Dr. De Maurice Moses; Sylvia Drew Ivie, widow of Ardie Ivie, EdD and mother of two children, was formerly an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Director of the US Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently Special Assistant to the President of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.  Dr. Drew‘s fourth and youngest child is the now deceased Charles R. Drew Jr., a teacher in the District of Columbia and Administrator at South Eastern University. Charlie was the principal caregiver for Mrs. Charles R. Drew during her years of decline from Alzheimer’s disease.  

 ABOUT OUR HONOREE The Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas
The Honorable Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District, has engaged his constituents to overwhelmingly elect him in 2008, and reelect him in 2012 and 2016 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as a strong advocate for his more than his two million Second District residents. He is a board member of L.A. Care and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He also sits on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has promoted the District’s interests on a variety of fronts, including transportation, job creation and retention, and local hiring. In the area of health policy, he has overseen the construction of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, as well as a network of cutting-edge health care facilities throughout the District.

Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas served the 26th District in the California State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. He served as Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2008 and led the Caucus in unprecedented levels of cooperation and collaboration with counterparts in the Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander Legislative Caucuses.

Mark Ridley-Thomas was first elected to public office in 1991 and served with distinction on the Los Angeles City Council for nearly a dozen years, departing as Council President pro Tempore. He later served two terms in the California State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Democratic Caucus. His legislative work addressed a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation.

Ridley-Thomas’ political career was preceded by a decade of service as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Los Angeles, which followed a brief but successful five-year stint as a high school teacher.

A graduate of Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, he earned a baccalaureate degree in Social Relations with a minor in Government and a master’s degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Christian ethics from Immaculate Heart College. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas went on to receive his Ph.D. in Social Ethics from the University of Southern California focusing on Social Criticism and Social Change.

He is married to Avis Ridley-Thomas, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Non-Violence in Los Angeles. They are the proud parents of twins Sinclair and Sebastian, both Morehouse men. Sinclair recently earned an MBA degree at USC’s Marshall School of Business, works in the investment banking industry, and resides in San Francisco with his wife Shaunicie, an attorney, and newborn son Duke Flynn. Sebastian is a member of the California State Assembly representing the 54th District, which includes Southwest Los Angeles, Culver City, Century City and Westwood. He currently chairs the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

Wilbert C. Jordan, MD, MPH, is the Founder and Director of the OASIS Clinic Angeles. He is the Co- Director of the Drew Center for AIDS Research; and Associate Professor, Internal Medicine and Family Practice, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. He has served as Assistant Professor, University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Jordan treated his first HIV patient in 1979. He has served three terms on the original Los Angeles County Commission on AIDS, which he chaired for two years; and has been involved with the original HIV Planning Council until the subsequent merger with the Commission. 
Further interests include expanding services for adolescents and transgender clients and further developing community advisory boards.  The latter will be composed of a Women’s group, a Transgender support group, the Adolescent support group, and the Client Advisory Committee. His national participation includes serving as a consultant  to  several pharmaceutical companies; the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Guidelines Committee;  being on a Center for Disease Control advisory committee  for outreach  to  Black MSM's  and  being  Principal Investigator to three CDC sponsored  projects  with the  National Medical Association.

To purchase tickets online, visit or call the CDU Office of Strategic Advancement at (323) 357-3669.

For more information, visit, and follow CDU on FacebookTwitter (@cdrewu), and Instagram (@charlesrdrewu).



CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving 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, 800 nurses and over a thousand other health professionals.

CDU is a private non-profit student centered University that is committed to cultivating diverse health professional leaders who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations through outstanding education, research, clinical service, and community engagement. ###


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