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Woman One Award Event Honoring Jeri Lynne Johnson

April 26, 2021

Hello, everyone.

In the midst of an experience that none of us has ever faced, I see this Woman One presentation as a preview of great things to come.

It’s also a welcome touch of normalcy.

And most of all, it is a testimonial to the resourcefulness of Drexel’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. 

It has been said that perseverance is the first chapter in the book of leadership.

And I am so proud of the way the entire Drexel University family of students, faculty and professional staff has responded over the last year to the need for dramatic adjustments to our living and learning lifestyles.

I am not surprised that Woman One found a way to carry on.

It’s a remarkable program that honors the achievements of one generation of women while preparing the next generation to make their mark.

That’s a formula that has distinguished this pace-setting initiative for nearly 20 years. 

It has been my pleasure to be part of honoring these spectacular women ... Leaders in public service, business, the arts, education and the environment …

To hear their stories, to admire their influence, to applaud the inspiration that is a companion to their deeds … there is no way that I was going to miss out on saluting these superstars. 

Today’s honoree continues the tradition.

Jeri Lynne Johnson combines talent, innovation and leadership in a way that is well beyond awesome. Her creation of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra is a magnificent gift to the community.  I congratulate her on being selected as Woman One and living a life that is so culturally uplifting for so many people. 

Congratulations also to the Woman One Scholars whose medical school educations are so vigorously boosted by this event. In particular, I want to call attention to Dominique Jones and Jacqueline Koomson, who next month will graduate and join 29 other Woman One physicians practicing medicine in the community in underserved areas.

And current events make it clear that doctors are more in demand than ever before. 

This year, Woman One adds a new touch: the awarding of the D. Walter Cohen Shared Leadership Scholarship to a deserving, underrepresented male medical student. Some young man — and he doesn’t know it yet — is about to have his dream of a career in medicine get a most valuable booster shot. 

Good programs grow because good people see the purpose and the possibilities.

Drexel University is very proud of Woman One – a good idea that keeps getting better.

I also want to commend the outstanding and essential work by everyone at the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. The Institute’s commitment to furthering the progress of women in medicine — and now, underserved men — is shaping the future of health care, making it stronger, more diverse, equitable, inclusive and compassionate.

My congratulations once again to Jeri Lynne Johnson … to our scholars … and to the architects of Woman One for not letting a pandemic derail the dreams of so many.