The celebration of University of Houston-Clear Lake's fifth president was held on Thursday, September, 20, 2018 in the UH-Clear Lake Bayou Theater.

About President Blake

Ira K. Blake, Ph.D., made history in August 2017 when she became University of Houston-Clear Lake's first African-American and female president. She was preceded by William A. Staples (1995-2017), Glenn A. Goerke (1991-1995), Thomas M. Stauffer (1982-1991) and Alfred R. Neumann (1972-1982). Since then, she has continued to further the university's mission of expanding and enhancing educational opportunities for the greater Houston area. President Blake joined UH-Clear Lake after serving as the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania for eight years. During her tenure there, she facilitated the addition of concentrations and certifications to several degree programs and increased the number of partnerships with regional community colleges. She also launched a "grow-your-own" faculty-recruitment program, among many other noteworthy achievements.

Prior to serving at Bloomsburg, President Blake held several other leadership positions from 2001-2009. She was the associate vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education at Dixon University Center, and the assistant to the president for public engagement at Kutztown University. She also served as a faculty member at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania and at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. President Blake began her career as an instructor in language development at Marymount Manhattan College in New York.

President Blake earned a bachelor's in psychology from George Washington University, a master's in educational psychology from San Francisco State University, and a master's and doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University. In addition to her academic and professional accomplishments, she has spoken and published extensively on topics related to literacy, language, ethnicity, culture, childhood development and socialization.

The middle child of nine, President Blake attributes her success to her parents who instilled the belief that if she and her siblings made education a priority, they could achieve anything. Now a mother of three and grandmother of six, she is reaping the benefits of what was sown into her life as a child and transcending expectations, a theme that appropriately surrounds the investiture ceremony.