From the Drew family, a long line of DSU graduates

Dr. Martin A. Drew, Class of 1965, is truly challenged as he tries to recall all the members of his family who have graduated from or are attending Delaware State University. Just when he thinks he has covered everyone, another one comes to mind.

“There are a number of us who have been at Del State,” said Drew.

The family of Dr. Martin A. Drew ’65, professor of English at DSU, has an extensive legacy. Among the graduates or current students are, seated from left, Dr.  Drew, Loretta Drew Chowdhury ’54 and Theresa Johnson ’02. In the back, from left, are sophomore Brittany Currie, Lisha W. Gist ’89, Robert Johnson ’03, Tywanna Currie ’88, Nika Drew Reid ’94, Chiara Fox ’05 and freshman Tashana Sprattling.

The Drew family legacy at DSU began with Loretta Drew Chowdhury, who graduated with a degree in Home Economics from then-Delaware State College in 1954.

Martin said that his father Orlando, who was born in 1915, outlived most of his 17 siblings. As such, he became the patriarch of the family and sent his younger sister — Loretta — to DSC. She would be the first of 14 Drew family descendants who would earn degrees at Del State.

Loretta would work as a dietician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan,N.Y., and then she served as a teacher in New York City for 35 years.
As the second in the family to earn a degree, Martin also took his DSC diploma in Elementary English to New York City, where he would teach junior high and high school, as well as serve as an assistant principal and principal. Along the way, he would earn two master’s degrees (Education Administration and Philosophy) and a doctorate in Education (Curriculum and Instruction).

Martin is also the author of three books: The Chronology of African-American Families of Southeastern Sussex County, Del.; The History of the Blackwater Colored School in Clarksville, Del.; and The History of the Drew Family — A Family Reunion.

Currently, Martin is a professor of English at his DSU alma mater. His oldest daughter, Monique Drew Woodley, graduated from DSC with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1990. She is currently a teacher in Dallas, Texas.

Anthony Mosley Jr., Monique’s son and Martin’s grandson, graduated from DSU in December 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications.
Loretta and Martin also have a litany of nieces and nephews who have graduated from Del State:

• Darryl Drew, who earned a 1990 Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He later completed studies at the University of California Law School in Sacramento, Calif., and currently is a lawyer in Oakland, Calif.

• Gregory Drew, who earned a 1994 Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He is currently in graduate school at Wilmington University.

• Patrick Drew, who earned a 2011 Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He works at Delaware Legislative Hall in Dover.

• Natasha Pratt Sprattling, who earned a 1988 Bachelor of Science in Business. Her daughter Tashana is currently a DSU freshman majoring in business marketing.

• Lisha Walters Gist, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1989. She now works as a financial professional.

• Nika Drew Reid, who earned a 1994 Bachelor of Science in Psychology (and later a master’s degree in Education from Wilmington University). She is a teacher in the Indian River School District.

• Tywanna Currie, who earned a 1988 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She works for SCI Services at Delaware Express. Her daughter Brittany Currie is a DSU sophomore majoring in biology and pre-health.

• Chiara Fox, who earned a 2005 Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She works in the Delaware Children’s Department (of the state of Delaware) and as an instructor at Delaware Technical & Community College.

• Robert Johnson, who earned a 2003  Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. He is a test proctor and education laboratory specialist at Delaware Technical & Community College.

• Theresa Johnson, who earned a 2002 Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She currently works in the Finance Department at the Delaware Department of Transportation.

Loretta said when she first started her college studies, she didn’t realize that she would be the first in a long line of college graduates in the family.
“It is absolutely beautiful,” Loretta said. “I didn’t really realize it until today when some of us came together for this picture.”

-- Story and photo by Carlos Holmes