Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to Graduate Next Generation of Health Practitioners at 34th Annual Commencement Ceremony

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to confer 365 certificates and degrees to future doctors, nurses, other practitioners during the largest commencement ceremony in the University’s 52 year history.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 29, 2018) – Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science will graduate 365 new practitioners into the health workforce during commencement activities to be held on Monday, June 4, at 6 p.m. at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The graduates will be presented certificates, diplomas, associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Science and Health, College of Medicine and the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.

U.S. Representative Nanette Barragán (CA-44) will deliver the commencement address, and honorary degrees will be conferred to L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Second District, and Dr. Loretta Jones of Healthy African American Families, Phase II (HAAF-II). Nominees for the honorary doctoral degree are distinguished and must 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 field.

“This year’s group of honorary degree recipients, as well as our commencement speaker, offers our graduates yet another example of the tremendous impact that dedicated service and activism have on the communities in which we live and work,” said CDU President/CEO Dr. David Carlisle. “We look forward to welcoming and honoring these individuals, as well as the accomplishments of the Class of 2018.”

Rep. Barragan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2016, becoming the first Latina ever to represent California’s 44th Congressional district. Born in Harbor City and growing up in its surrounding harbor communities, her humble beginnings shaped her interest in issues that matter locally: environmental and health justice, immigration reform, strengthening the economy, and affordable and accessible education.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has distinguished himself as an effective leader for more than two million Second District residents since his election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2008. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and LA Care, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.

Dr. Jones is the founder and CEO of HAAF-II and community faculty member at CDU. As a “community gatekeeper,” she has dedicated her life to instilling hope and healing in communities and society-at-large, with a career as a civbil rights activist, health policy advocate and social architect that has spanned more than four decades. In an effort to level the playing field for all people, Dr. Jones continues her unyielding commitment as a change agent, working to eliminate disparities in community and individual health, and improve community development and opportunity.
CDU is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of its graduates. For more information, visit, and follow CDU on Facebook, Twitter (@cdrewu), and Instagram (@charlesrdrewu).

CDU is a private, non-profit student centered minority-serving medical and health sciences 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.

Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated, since its inception, more than 575 physicians, 1,200 physician assistants and over a thousand other health professionals, as well as training over 2,700 physician specialists through its sponsored residency programs. Its School of Nursing has graduated over 1000 nursing professionals, including over 600 family nurse practitioners.  CDU is a leader in health disparities research with a focus on education, training, treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS.