Education Lead Story Local News West Edition

Drew University presents degrees to more than 300 grads

CARSON — More than 300 students were presented with degrees and certificates June 3 when Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science held its 35th annual commencement ceremony at the Dignity Health Sports Park for the class of 2019. 

The numerical breakdown for this year’s class was 38 graduates from the College of Medicine, 102 graduates from the College of Science and Health and 179 graduates from the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing. Noted attorney, philanthropist and media personality Areva Martin delivered an inspiring keynote address, sharing her journey of how she catapulted herself from humble beginnings in urban St. Louis to become a respected force in law, entertainment and special needs advocacy.

“Our graduates have been trained to become leaders in health that embark upon careers where their passion to achieve equity in health and wellness drives them more than their desires for personal material gain,” Drew University President and CEO Dr. David Carlisle said. “In other words, they are now equipped to be agents of change in their chosen professions, just like the university’s legendary namesake Dr. Charles R. Drew.”

Dr. Mirion P. Bowers and Dr. Fred D. Parrott were each awarded the President’s Medal, which recognizes extraordinary service to Drew University by a member of the university community who has performed with excellence in their profession. 

In introducing the honorees to the audience, Dr. Carlisle referred to them as “two pioneering African-American physicians whose work inspires us, and whose careers and community commitment and involvement leave us an aspirational path to follow, if we have the courage to do so.”

Dr. Cornelius Hopper received an honorary doctoral degree from the university, and was selected for his demonstrated intellectual and humane values that are consistent with Drew’s mission and the highest ideas of his field. 

“Dr. Hopper’s passion and commitment to education, social justice and improving the health of people locally, nationally and internationally is inextricably linked to our mission,” Dr. Carlisle said. “For this reason, we are honored to bestow the honorary doctoral degree upon him.”

The ceremony was also marked by a donation of $50,000 to the university by Dr. Parrott, a longtime supporter of Drew University. He is the founder of the Real Men Cook Foundation, an organization whose mission is to increase the number of minority health providers by awarding scholarships to historically black college and university medical students in the United States. Throughout Dr. Parrott’s relationship with Drew University, he has donated more than $250,000 to the school.

Wave Staff Report