A prominent leader in civic affairs, Jim Blake has given his expertise and time to many corporate advisory boards and community organizations, including MBKU. In 1989, Mr. Blake joined the board of trustees of what was then the Southern California College of Optometry, now situated in its new home at Marshall B. Ketchum University. He was board chair from 1997–99 and was named trustee emeritus in 2002. In 2004, he was recognized as a centennial honoree of the college.
At SCCO, Jim and his family established the endowed Hardtner/Blake Family Scholarship Fund to benefit first, second and third year students demonstrating financial need. Since its inception in 2003, up to six students each receive $1,000 in support of tuition and equipment purchases. To date, more than $70,000 has been awarded in support of the next generation of health care professionals.
In 2004, the Blake family provided financial support to the college for its renovation and expansion of the on-campus clinical facility. In recognition of this support, the Blake Conference Center at University Eye Center at Fullerton was named.
"In 2013, Jim answered the call for support by establishing the very first endowed scholarship and first major gift for the new School of Physician Assistant Studies,” said Paul Stover, M.Ed., Vice President for University Advancement. “The James H. Blake Endowed Scholarship in the School of Physician Assistant Studies is just another major mark that Mr. Blake brings to the university and our community.”
"PA students don’t have a lot of scholarship money available to them and the cost of tuition is a barrier for some of our best students,” stated Judy Ortiz, PhD, PA-C, Dean, College of Health Sciences. “The James H. Blake Endowed Scholarship ensures that we can continue to attract top-tier talent to Ketchum. We are forever grateful to Mr. Blake for his generosity.”
President of MBKU, Kevin Alexander, OD, PhD, concluded, “Jim Blake has been a longtime friend of MBKU. His commitment to MBKU’s PA program helps us ensure that we can fulfill our mission in an interprofessional environment.”