J. Herman Blake


Honorary Degree (2003)
Doctor of Humane Letters
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Adam Herbert
Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion (1994)
Year End Review Meeting
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich


J. Herman Blake, who first came to IUPUI as a consultant on undergraduate education, served the campus as vice chancellor for undergraduate education from 1989 to 1997. Largely through his efforts, IUPUI became a national leader among public, urban institutions that promote undergraduate education for diverse student populations.

Since leaving IUPUI, Blake has held a joint appointment as director of African American studies and professor of sociology, educational leadership, and policy studies at Iowa State University. A first-generation college student, Blake has received prestigious awards for his work with many grassroots community groups, as well as with Save the Children, Project Pericles, the Academic Advisory Council of the Lumina Foundation for Education, and many other organizations.

He has also received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Ford, Woodrow Wilson, and John Hay Whitney Foundations, as well as numerous honorary degrees. Blake's success in motivating students to aspire beyond the easily attainable has helped shaped dozens of careers that are, in turn, perpetuating his vision of greater diversity in higher education.