At a Legacy Reception, Dr. David M. Carlisle paid tribute to the founders of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Last Tuesday, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) held the legacy reception at the CDU House to pay tribute to those gallant men and women who, after the 1965 Watts Rebellion, worked together and founded the CDU. In announcing the founders, Dr. David M. Carlisle, president of CDU spoke in solemn terms about the rebellion and the blue-ribbon commission which investigated the causes and the consequences of the unrest. The theme and the purpose of the reception Dr. Carlisle said was “Honoring our past and Sustaining our future.”
In honoring the past, he then paid tribute by naming the founders: Lillian H. Mobley, Johnnie Tillman, Mary Henry, Edna Elawine, Caffie Green, and former Congressman Augustus Hawkins, who are all deceased. Alive and present were Nola Carter and Dr. Mervyn Dymally. (In addition, others who assisted in making CDU a reality were: Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, Assemblyman Leon Ralph, Councilmen Gilbert Lindsay and John Gibson).
Dr. Carlisle then recognized some of the distinguished guests including Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Atty. Sylvia Drew Ivie (whose father CDU is named for) and members of the CDU’s staff and volunteers.
As one of the living founders, Nola Carter spoke to the guests in very moving terms about the trials and tribulations that she and the rest of the founding members had to endure to establish CDU as a community-based educational institution. She then spoke a lengthy poem that was a moving tribute to her fallen comrades and to the many others who fought so that Black people can continue the struggle.
Another step in honoring the past, Dr. Carlisle stated that in partnership with the University’s Committee on Clinical and Community Programs, the president’s office will commission a portrait of one of the founders, Lillian H. Mobley that will be hung in the Montague Cobb Building Lobby. Furthermore, the university hopes to honor all of the women with similar portraits to be displayed in the Cobb Lobby.
In sustaining the future, Dr. Carlisle recognized CDU students and alumni who were present, and let them know of their importance to the university’s future. He also focused on mission of the university in producing primary care providers to meet the health service needs especially of underserved places including the South Los Angeles area. He emphasized that no one (educational institution) is better than CDU at educating and training primary care providers who are dedicated to practice in underserved areas of California.
Another milestone at CDU was learning that the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing will soon be accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Kudos went to Dr. Gloria McNeal, dean of the nursing school and she delivered very complimentary remarks about the occasion. Also that the restoration of the university’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation was completed last summer.
Finally, Dr. Carlisle spoke of future fundraising events to be held periodically for the CDU Sustaining Fund that will be used to promote scientific research and academic excellence including scholarships – hence, the Lillian Harkless Mobley Scholarship.