For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                           March 28, 2009


Los Angeles—California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctorate at Charles Drew University’s 25th commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 6.

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s speech will keynote the graduation ceremony for more than 200 students who will be awarded degrees and certificates from the university’s College of Medicine and College of Science and Health.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger is a strong supporter of Charles Drew University and we are proud to honor him at our commencement ceremony,” said Bart H. Williams, a Los Angeles attorney and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Charles Drew University.

This year’s graduating class continues a tradition of excellence that has made Charles Drew University a sought-after destination for the study of medicine, he said.

In the 2009 class of Charles Drew/UCLA MD program, seven out of 28 students—or 25% of the students—were inducted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Society, the only national medical honor society. In addition, graduates from CDU have been selected by some of the most competitive medical centers in the nation to complete their residencies.

College of Science and Health (COSH) graduates are highly sought after by healthcare employers seeking physician assistants, radiographers, substance abuse counselors, and others in health-related professions. COSH has trained physician assistants longer than any other program in the state.

Since its first student enrollments in 1971, Charles Drew University has graduated over 500 physicians, 1,200 physician assistants, 2,800 physician specialists, and numerous other healthcare professional—almost all from diverse backgrounds and most of whom dedicated to careers working in underserved communities.

One-third of Los Angeles County’s minority doctors were trained at Charles Drew, and the College of Medicine’s graduates are two to three times more likely to practice in diverse and medically underserved communities than physicians trained in traditional medical schools.

Gov. Schwarzenegger acknowledged the university’s many accomplishments in an Oct. 2006 letter to the chairman of the Regents of the University of California. (He also maintains strong support for the reopening of the Martin Luther King Jr. County Hospital, which is a major priority of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in his Second District.)

“Drew University has educated hundreds of physicians who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to go to medical school, and these doctors have in turn gone on to provide a critical link in caring for some of California’s most medically underserved populations,” he wrote in 2006. “As the medical needs of California’s underserved populations continue to grow, Drew University is on the front lines in educating the doctors and nurses from diverse backgrounds desperately needed to help us meet these needs.”

Located in South Los Angeles, CDU makes its home in the largest and most diverse urban, underserved communities in the nation. Nowhere else in the United States is the need for trained physicians, health professionals and access to quality care more acute. In the communities surrounding the university, there are fewer than a dozen pediatricians for every 100,000 children, nearly a third of the adults are uninsured, and preventive screenings--for diabetes, breast cancer or prostate cancer--are not routine.

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s appearance on the Charles Drew University campus comes at a time when construction workers are busy building the university’s new Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, which will help California overcome one of the worst nursing shortages in the country.

Charles Drew University has become a dominant force in translational research, focusing on quickly converting findings into practical approaches to medicine at the community level. CDU is ranked in the top ten percent of more than 3,400 institutions supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is ranked in the top 50 private universities in research funding, as rated by the Center for Measuring University Performance.

The graduation ceremony will be held on the Charles Drew University campus at 1731 East 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA.

For more information, please contact:
John L. Mitchell
Media Advisor at
Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science
Telephone: (323) 563-4981 or cell (323) 681-4225


1731 East 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059
p 323 563 4987 ? f 323 563 5987 ?

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