June 2, 2014  


Commencement Speaker Congresswoman Janice Hahn: “It’s now spring here at CDU and I see a field full of flowers in bloom.”; Honorary Certificate Accepted by Parents of Mattison Haywood, Victim of Orland Bus Crash

Los Angeles, CA-  Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine (CDU) conferred degrees and certificates to over 300 graduates at the University’s 30th commencement ceremony.  Graduates from every CDU program were honored with pomp and circumstance in one University-wide ceremony, including 31 from the College of Medicine, 204 from the School of Nursing and 71 from the College of Science and Health. This year’s commencement theme celebrated the idea that “Education is our Passport to the Future.”

 “Our graduates commitment and work towards health equity will forever be part of the legacy of Charles R. Drew University,” said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President of CDU. “We are also proud that this is our 30th commencement, a sign of the enduring strength of our University.”

Keynote Speaker Congresswoman Janice Hahn of California’s 44th district highlighted the incredible impact CDU graduates have on the community.

The Congresswoman addressed students: “In you, the promise of Charles Drew University becomes real. What was once a dream now has a name and a face:your name and your face.” Read the rest of Congresswoman Hahn’s speech here.*

Mr. Timothy Watkins, CEO, Watts Labor Community Action Committee, received the President’s Medal, which recognizes extraordinary and unique service to the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science by a member of the University community who has performed with excellence in his or her chosen profession.

An Honorary Doctorate was bestowed upon Sylvia Drew Ivie, Esq., daughter of the University namesake, Dr. Charles R. Drew. She has left an indelible mark in her own right a former director of T.H.E. Clinic, Inc., at L.A. County and teaching at USC among other achievements.  Recipients of the Honorary Doctoral degree (Humane Letters) have demonstrated intellectual and humane values that are consistent with the aims of the University’s mission and higher education, and with the highest ideals of the person’s chosen field. 

An honorary Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Pre-Medicine was granted to Mattison Haywood. This promising student in CDU’s post-baccalaureate program lost her life on the bus that was headed to Humboldt State University and crashed in the small city of Orland on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Her mother, Ms. Carla Haywood accepted on her behalf while 14 other family members, including her father, John Haywood, cheered her on.

Over 1,000 people attended the commencement and reception.

For more information, visit



Jessica Gelzer
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About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
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, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals. The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named the best performaer in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians by the Greenlining Institute. For more information, visit


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A Private University with a Public Mission

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