March 23, 2017 

LAWT News Service 


Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) released the following statement regarding the death of Roland Hayes Betts, founder of “Jazz at Drew:”


 “My condolences and prayers go out to the family of Roland H. Betts on his passing. Mr. Betts was a U.S. Marine veteran and was active in civil rights and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) before relocating to Los Angeles. In the mid-60s, he attended Pepperdine University on a full athletic scholarship.


He was a longtime community activist and had served the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science since 1971, when he joined the team as Community Liaison Officer until he retired 31 years later. Mr. Betts came out of retirement last year to bring back “Jazz at Drew,” the popular scholarship fundraiser for Drew University students. After an eight year hiatus, the community enthusiastically welcomed the return of world-class jazz to the Watts/Willowbrook campus. He will be sorely missed but his many contributions will live on.”


Category: Opinion