View from the Chair


Today was the second meeting of the newly constituted Board of Trustees.  The meeting was well-attended and the members were very engaged.  After deliberations, the board approved the Strategic Plan, the Academic Plan, the Facilities Plan, the Business Plan and the WASC report. These reports will be posted on the intranet. Drs. Hopper, Edelstein and I will be flying out to meet with WASC, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, tomorrow to update them on current progress.


I would like to report that we have been getting favorable responses from Sovereign Bank on our request for waiver extension, as well as modification of the interest rate and bond covenants. We will continue these important negotiations, and I will provide a more detailed update in the future.


I would like to conclude by congratulating Dr. Eric Bing, faculty representative on the Board of Trustees, on his new position as the founding Director of Global Health at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Bing has been a faculty member at CDU, and served in many important roles. He will be a loss for CDU and dearly missed.  We wish him the very best in his new endeavor.  The Board will consider three candidates, who were nominated to replace Dr. Bing as the faculty representative and a decision will be announced soon. 

M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S.
Board of Trustees

First White Coat Ceremony for Nursing Class


The  Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science held a white coat ceremony for its inaugural class of nursing students.


Gathered last Friday in the courtyard of the Life Sciences Research and Nursing Education building, a brand-new $43 million structure, the students and their loved ones waited patiently for the moment to show their next step forward in nursing education. 


"Today, you're starting a new path together with your colleagues and classmates," said Gloria J. McNeal, founding dean, School of Nursing. It is an understatement to say it's an exciting time to be a nurse. Your experiences as a student nurse, together with many external forces, will shape the type of practitioner you ultimately become."                                                                                            

One by one, the first-year students in the graduate-level program were called by name from the audience to receive the white coats, symbolizing their responsibility to patient care and clinical service. Cloaked in their embroidered white coats, the students, more than 50 in all, recited in unison a pledge of professionalism named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.


“These students started their journey in graduate nursing school as white-coast angels, just as Florence Nightingale herself and her nurses were called white-dress angels,” said S. Pamela Shiao, associate dean, School of Nursing. She added that the ceremony shows the student’s commitment to follow Nightingale’s legacy, as well as to reduce health disparities and to serve the diverse needs of underserved communities.”


Among those in attendance was Mervyn M. Dymally, who served more than 40 years as a state legislator, including a term as lieutenant governor in the mid-1970s, and in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dymally, the School of Nursing’s namesake, heads the university’s Urban Health Institute.


The students entering the Dymally School of Nursing previously earned a baccalaureate degree, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Dr. McNeal encouraged students to broaden their perspective, and develop greater empathy for patients.


“Place yourselves in as many different environments for patient care as possible. Experience the many ways to provide nursing care management,” Dr. McNeal said. She added: “I know the exciting class work is just beginning and new experiences await you. You’ll have challenges, but I guarantee the ride is worth it.”

Sharing the Spirit of Christmas With Children

Standing in line by the dozens, families came last Saturday to Charles R. Drew University for a little holiday cheer.
In a year when the economy has fizzled, unemployment has spiked and job prospects for many have dwindled, volunteers from the School of Medicine tried to make the season brighter.
Students dressed as elves, along with faculty and staff, gave away hot dogs, popcorn and juice boxes while children played on jumpers and had their faces painted. Then came time for the toys.
Many children began tearing off the wrapping paper to their gifts while walking out of the Cobb building, so eager to see what was inside the package. One excited youngster said to another: "What did you get? What did you get?" Finding a wrestling figure, the young boy said:  "Yeah!"
About 17 years ago, the university began "Project Santa Claus" to help nearby families celebrate the holidays. "I think it's great," said Rebecca Murillo, draped by her five-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter. "It's a chance to come out and have fun."


News in Brief


Urban Health Institute

Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, (MPH), a former fellow with the Urban Health Institute at Charles Drew University, will receive the Alumni Hall of Fame award in February from the UCLA School of Public Health. The accolade will be presented during UCLA’s 50th Anniversary gala. Ms. Hall-Trujillo, a member of the advisory committee to the Urban Health Institute, participated in a conference on climate change held recently at Charles Drew University.



In a response to a thank you note for his support of Charles Drew University, Dr. Robert C. Dynes, president emeritus, University of California said: “University of California’s mission is, among others, public service. Drew University is a public servant.”




The CDU/UCLA Medical Education Program Class of 2011 raised $1,000 through a recent raffle, said Ngozi Angela Chukwu, a fourth-year medical student, who helped organize the event. The money will help pay for graduation expenses. Dr. Karen G. Cheng, Ph.D., a psychiatry and human behavior professor, chose between the three items offered as the main prize: an Xbox 360, an Apple iPod Touch or a Wii gaming system.


Become a Mission Maker Today 

If you would like to donate to the Mission Maker campaign, which supports the university, its mission and its students, then please contact Blanch Ross. She can be reached at 323-563-4992 or at

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Contact: Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Phone: (323) 563-4800

Charles Drew University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, Charles Drew University 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. Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians, according to the Greenlining Institute.