History of CDU

History of CDU

Historical Timeline

Historical Timeline
AUGUST 1965
A 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.

AUGUST 1966
The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School is incorporated in the State of California as a private, non-profit, educational institution.

APRIL 1968
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.

OCTOBER 1968
Mitchell Spellman, MD, PhD, begins his tenure as the founding Executive Dean of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School.

NOVEMBER 1969
First department chairman is appointed.  M. Alfred Haynes, MD, MPH, becomes Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School's Chief of Community and Preventive Medicine.

JANUARY 1970
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.

JULY 1971
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.

JUNE 1972
Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School hosts its first Open House.

FEBRARY 1972
Dedication ceremonies are held for King Hospital.

MARCH 1972
Official opening of King Hospital. Mr. Robert Jamerson of South Los Angeles is the first patient to be admitted for treatment.

JUNE 1973
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.

OCTOBER 1973
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.

JUNE 1974
Dedication of the Dr. Julyius 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.

JUNE 1974
The Johnnie Tillmon Child Care Center opens as a family day care center.

MAY 1977
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.

DECEMBER 1977
Dr. Mitchell Spellman ends his tenure as founding Dean; leaves to become Dean, Medical Services, at Harvard University Medical School.

DECEMBER 1977
David Satcher, MD, PhD, MPH, Chairman of Drew’s Department of Family Medicine, is appointed Acting Dean by the Drew Board of Directors.

DECEMBER 1977
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.

DECEMBER 1977
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).

MAY 1978
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.

AUGUST 1979
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.

SEPTEMBER 1980
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.

MAY 1980
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.

MAY 1981
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.

SEPTEMBER 1981
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.

OCTOBER 1982
Groundbreaking ceremonies are held for the first permanent building on the school's projected 49 acres: the Medical Education Center.

SEPTEMBER 1983
Harry E. Douglas III, DPA, is named permanent Dean for Allied Health Sciences.

FEBRARY 1984
The Clinical Sciences Research Facility is established in the Augustus F. Hawkins Building.

NOVEMBER 1984
The first permanent building on the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School campus, the W. Montague Cobb Medical Education Building, is dedicated.

JUNE 1985
King/Drew Medical Magnet High School graduates its first class of 37 students.

JUNE 1985
Fifteen members of the charter class of the Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program receive MD degrees in the first graduation ceremony.

OCTOBER 1987
W. Benton Boone, MD, MS, is elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. He assumes office in January 1988.

APRIL 1987
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.

SEPTEMBER 1988
Allied Health Sciences faculty, staff and students moved into the newly completed W. M. Keck Building.

SEPTEMBER 1991
Reed V. Tuckson, MD, is appointed President.

JUNE 1994
Harry E. Douglas III, DPA, is appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs.

JANUARY 1995
"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.

JANUARY 1995
The University receives an accreditation site visit from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

JUNE 1995
Harry E. Douglas III, DPA, is appointed Executive Vice President.

JUNE 1995
M. Roy Wilson, MD, MS, is appointed Dean, College of Medicine.

JUNE 1995
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.

JULY 1998
Charles K. Francis, MD, is appointed President.

MAY 2002
Marcelle Willock, MD, MBA, is appointed Dean, College of Medicine. She is the first female Dean for the college.

OCTOBER 2003
Carole Jordan-Harris, MD, MS, is the first woman elected chair of the Board of Trustees.

JANUARY 2004
Harry E. Douglas, III, DPA, is appointed Interim President.

JULY 2005
Thomas T. Yoshikawa, MD, is appointed Provost, Chief Operating Officer and Acting President.

MAY 2006
Susan Kelly, PhD, FAPS, is appointed President.

JULY 2007
Richard S. Baker is named Dean, College of Medicine.  Gail Orum is named Dean, College of Science and Health.

JUNE 2009
Keith C. Norris, MD, FACP, is appointed Interim President.

JUNE 2009
Initial approval for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is granted by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

JANUARY 2010
Gloria J. McNeal, PhD, MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is appointed Founding Dean of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.

AUGUST 2010
The first cohort of students matriculates into the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.

AUGUST 2010
The $43-million Life Sciences Research and Nursing Education (LSRNE) Building is officially opened to house the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.

SEPTEMBER 2010
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.

NOVEMBER 2010
Richard S. Baker, MD, is named Provost. 

JULY 2011
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.

DECEMBER 2011
James Lott is named Chairman, Board of Trustees.

JANUARY 2012
Degree-granting ceremony is held for the inaugural Family Nurse Practitioner Program from the new Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing

NOVEMBER 2012
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.

DECEMBER 2012
Marvin O’Quinn, MPH, is named Chairman, Board of Trustees.

JUNE 2012
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).

FEBRARY 2014
Official bust unveiling is held for Mervyn M. Dymally, PhD.

JANUARY 2015
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.

2016
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.

2017
Graduate medical education returns to CDU, as the LA County Board of Supervisors approves funding for residencies in Psychiatry and Family Medicine.
The Chronicle of Higher Education study judges CDU to be the second most diverse four-year private nonprofit college in the nation.