Charles R. Drew University Historical Timelines
Civil disturbance erupts in the Watts community of Los Angeles, California, an event later known as the “Watts Rebellion” or “Watts Revolt.” Before the 1960s were over, a total of 265 American cities would experience similar racial upheaval. In the wake of the violence in Los Angeles, the McCone Commission cited poor health status and diminished access to healthcare as major factors contributing to the upheaval.
The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School is incorporated in the State of California as a private, non-profit, educational institution.
Groundbreaking ceremonies are held at the old Palm Lane housing site (120th and Wilmington Avenue, L.A.) for the Los Angeles County Southeast General Hospital. It would be renamed Martin Luther King Jr. General Hospital.
Mitchell Spellman, MD, PhD, begins his tenure as the founding Executive Dean of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School.
First department chairman is appointed. M. Alfred Haynes, MD, MPH, becomes Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School’s Chief of Community & Preventive Medicine.
Formal opening of the offices of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School and the Watts-Willowbrook Regional Medical Program (RMP) at 120th St. and Compton Avenue. Mrs. Lenore Drew, widow of the late physician, participates in the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
First contract between Los Angeles County and the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School is agreed to for provision of health care and education services at King Hospital.
Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School hosts its first Open House.
Dedication ceremonies are held for King Hospital.
Dedication ceremonies are held for King Hospital.
The MEDEX Physician Assistant Program of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School, the first such training program in California, graduates its first class of 21 students. The Honorable Willie Brown, Assemblyman from San Francisco and co-author of the Song-Brown Act, is keynote speaker.
Passage of California State Senate Bill 1026, the “Dymally Bill,” releases $1.2 million for Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School programs through an affiliation with the University of California. The bill is signed into law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan.
Dedication of the Dr. Julius W. Hill Intern and Resident Physician Building, named after the founder of the Golden State Medical Association and former member of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School Board of Directors.
The Johnnie Tillmon Child Care Center opens as a family day care center.
Publication of the Heller Committee Report by the UC Board of Regents, which described a proposed preclinical/clinical undergraduate medical education program between UCLA Medical School and Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School.
Dr. Mitchell Spellman ends his tenure as founding Dean; leaves to become Dean, Medical Services, at Harvard University Medical School.
David Satcher, MD, PhD, MPH, Chairman of Drew’s Department of Family Medicine, is appointed Acting Dean by the Drew Board of Directors.
Over 100 community leaders and residents attend the initial Drew Community Leadership Luncheon. From this gathering is formed the Community Advisory Council to the Dean.
At a special referendum, Drew Faculty votes in favor of Proposal “C” to establish Undergraduate Medical Education Program in conjunction with the University of California (UC).
The UC Board of Regents votes to approve a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Drew/UCLA Undergraduate Medical Education Program for the MD degree.
M. Alfred Haynes, MD, MPH, is formally inaugurated as the Dean of Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School in traditional cap and gown faculty exercises. NAACP National President W. Montague Cobb, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Anatomy at Howard University, is the keynote speaker.
Dedication ceremonies are held for the Dr. Leroy R. Weekes, Jr. Medical Support Building. The building was named in honor of Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School’s second Chairman of the Board.
The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School Foundation is incorporated. Dr. Henry Williams, Drew’s first Chairman of the Board of Directors, is named President of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The $20-million Augustus F. Hawkins Mental Health Building, named after political leader of Watts who became California’s first African-American elected to the United States Congress, is dedicated.
The charter class for the Drew/UCLA Undergraduate Medical Education Program. Twenty-one students, chosen from 550 applicants, enroll for preclinical studies at UCLA School of Medicine.
Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the first permanent building on the school’s projected 49 acres: the Medical Education Center.
Harry E. Douglas III, DPA, is named permanent Dean for Allied Health Sciences.
The Clinical Sciences Research Facility is established in the Augustus F. Hawkins Building.
The first permanent building on the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School campus, the
W. Montague Cobb Medical Education Building, is dedicated.
King/Drew Medical Magnet High School graduates its first class of 37 students.
Fifteen members of the charter class of the Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program receive MD degrees in the first graduation ceremony.
Under the leadership of Walter F. Leavell, MD, President, the school’s name is changed to Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science to reflect its expanded academic role and identity, and the accreditation process is initiated.
W. Benton Boone, MD, MS, is elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. He assumes office in January 1988.
Allied Health Sciences faculty, staff and students moved into the newly completed W. M. Keck Building.
Reed V. Tuckson, MD, is appointed President.
Harry E. Douglas III, DPA, is appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs.
“Agenda 2000 – Building A Healthy African American Community For Future Generations Through Self-Empowerment,” the first annual conference sponsored by the Community Advisory Council To The President, is held at the Airport Doubletree Hotel.
The University receives an accreditation site visit from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Harry E. Douglas III, DPA, is appointed Executive Vice President.
M. Roy Wilson, MD, MS, is appointed Dean, College of Medicine.
Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior College and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Charles K. Francis, MD, is appointed President.
Marcelle Willock, MD, MBA, is appointed Dean, College of Medicine. She is the first female Dean for the college.
Carole Jordan-Harris, MD, MS, is the first woman elected chair of the Board of Trustees.
Harry E. Douglas, III, DPA, is appointed Interim President.
Thomas T. Yoshikawa, MD, is appointed Provost, Chief Operating Officer and Acting President.
Susan Kelly, PhD, FAPS, is appointed President.
Richard S. Baker is named Dean, College of Medicine. Gail Orum is named Dean, College of Science and Health.
Keith C. Norris, MD, FACP, is appointed Interim President.
Initial approval for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is granted by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).
Gloria J. McNeal, PhD, MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is appointed Founding Dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
The first cohort of students matriculates into the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.
The $43-million Life Sciences Research and Nursing Education (LSRNE) Building is officially opened to house the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.
M. Roy Wilson, MD, MS, is named Acting President, CEO and Chairman, Board of Trustees. In addition, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, PhD, is named chairman of the Board of Councilors, an entity that advises the Trustees.
Richard S. Baker, MD, is named Provost.
David M. Carlisle, MD, PhD, is named President and CEO. In addition, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges fully accredits the University through 2018.
James Lott is named Chairman, Board of Trustees.
Degree-granting ceremony is held for the inaugural Family Nurse Practitioner Program from the new Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.
The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing is granted accreditation for the Master’s program from the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), extending to December 31, 2017.
Marvin O’Quinn, MPH, is named Chairman, Board of Trustees.
First official graduation ceremony of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing with 91 candidates (69 Family Nurse Practitioner and 22 Entry Level Masters students.
Official bust unveiling is held for Mervyn M. Dymally, PhD.
Sheldon D. Fields, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, AACRN, FNAP, FAANP, is appointed Dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.
2015 – 2016
Executive and academic appointments round out CDU leadership:
- Steve O. Michael, PhD, is appointed Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost
- Margaret Avila, PhD, PHN, APRN, is named Dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
- Hector Balcazar, PhD, MS, is appointed Dean of the College of Science and Health
- Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD, is named Dean and Professor of Medicine for the College of Medicine
- Ms. Sylvia Drew Ivie, JD, and daughter of Dr. Charles R. Drew, is appointed Special Assistant to the President
- Jinny Oh, EdD, is appointed Dean of Student Affairs
A Brookings Institute college evaluation system ranks CDU third nationally for providing the greatest value-added boost to alumni in occupational earnings power.
CDU celebrates its 50th anniversary with a series of on- and off-campus events.
After an eight-year hiatus, Jazz at Drew, a longtime favorite LA music festival and fundraiser, returns as part of CDU’s 50th anniversary.
Graduate medical education returns to CDU, as the LA County Board of Supervisors approves funding for residencies in Psychiatry and Family Medicine.
A Chronicle of Higher Education study judges CDU to be the second most diverse four-year
private nonprofit college in the nation.
All CDU programs are fully accredited without any restrictions—for the first time in the University’s history— and our accrediting body has invited CDU leadership to join and lead other accreditation teams.
Senator Steven Bradford authored SR-43, recognizing CDU as an HBCU in the state of California.
CDU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Southwest College, Compton College, the East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program and Technical Center and the YouthBuild Charter School as part of continued efforts to establish direct pipelines for highachieving students in the L.A. area to receive instant, early, or preferred admission to the University.
Two new undergraduate programs were launched in the College of Science and Health: the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and the Bachelor of Science in Urban Community
The RN to BSN program graduates its first class of students.
The new Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science and Food Systems Program matriculated its inaugural class.
CDU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with West Angeles Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.), Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM), AltaMed, and Green Dot Public Schools California, as part of continued growth efforts. The signings with West Angeles C.O.G.I.C. and RUSM marked CDU’s first official agreements with a religious organization and international higher education institution, respectively.
CDU’s Department of Research received full accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC).
CDU formalized an agreement with AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) Health to jointly open and operate a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) clinic on the CDU campus.
For the first time in the University’s history, the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing charted on the US News & World Report’s “Best Nursing Schools: Master’s” list, ranking at #189.
CDU received an $800,000 grant from the California Endowment in December 2019, that will help the University continue to plan for a new medical degree program and a new medical education building.
CDU took a leadership role as the community was shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDU hosted and operated, along with County of Los Angeles partners, one of the highestvolume COVID-19 testing sites in Los Angeles County.
CDU published a much-cited report on the University’s testing site experience, which was a blueprint for how to run an effective testing site in an under-resourced community like ours.
CDU and APLA Health APLA officially announced plans to move forward on a new building
located on campus that would house a new CDU Wellness Center and an APLA clinic during a symbolic “indoor groundbreaking” ceremony on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.
The California State Legislature included a one-time $7.5 million allocation in the 2019 state budget for Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
The new Student Center at CDU opened at 1656 E. 118th Street in January 2020
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is a recipient of a Josiah Macy Jr.
Foundation Award in the category of “Institutional Excellence.”
The Saturday Science Academy-II at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (SSA-II) “graduated” the most students in its history when 124 K-12 students received their white coats at the 20th annual “Junior White Coat Ceremony” at King-Drew Medical Magnet High School.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the organization
responsible for accrediting all U.S. graduate medical training programs, granted initial accreditation to the College of Medicine’s (COM) upcoming residency program in Internal Medicine.
CDU enrolled its first students into the new BS in Psychology with Emphasis in Community Counseling program for the Fall 2020 semester.
Enrollment at CDU reached an all-time high of 1,028.
The University received a $7.7-million award from Bloomberg Philanthropies on September 3, 2020, the largest private gift ever presented to CDU.
Internal Medicine Residency Program launches first cohort of eight residents following
The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing’s (MMDSON) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) programs received approval from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).
CDU, in partnership with Thomas Safran & Associates and Century Housing Corporation, was selected to develop the 12.8-acre former Lincoln Elementary School site that sits across from the CDU campus on 118th street.
CDU received a $1.6 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative to enhance the university’s efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to under-resourced communities in and around Los Angeles.
California state legislators approved $50 million in the state’s annual budget to be allocated to the construction of CDU’s upcoming health professions education building, which will house the forthcoming four-year medical degree program, pending accreditation.
The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing (MMDSON) launched the new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program in Fall 2021.
CDU launched the Black Maternal Health Center of Excellence (BMHCE), which aims to address the persistent birthing disparities that disproportionately impact Black birthing women in Los Angeles County.
Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott made a $20 million donation to CDU, a one-time gift that represents the largest private donation in the history of the University.
CDU President and CEO Dr. David Carlisle was recognized as one of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2022 by the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF).
CDU’s Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program was named the best in the country by Best Value Schools.
Dr. Gail Washington is named Dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing
Dr. Monica Ferrini is named Dean of the College of Science and Health
CDU was ranked a Top California institution that offers a high return on investment (ROI) for low-income students.
The APLA Health Center opened on the west end of campus, bringing a range of free and lowcost health services to CDU students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community.
CDU, Compton College, and Compton Unified School District (CUSD) held a special virtual event to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the entities to formalize a partnership that creates a special three-year bachelor degree program that allows for CUSD students who are interested in a career in health sciences to begin working toward their degree beginning their junior year in high school.
CDU receives preliminary accreditation to open an independent MD medical degree program, making it the first such Historically Black program to launch in the US in more than four decades and the only such program west of the Mississippi River.
- Mission Vision Values
- Consumer Information
Upcoming Admissions Events
Services for CDU Students
- Academic Support
- Career Services
- Health & Wellness