James H. Blake Completes his Generous Pledge of $100,000 for the School of Physician Assistant Studies

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Blake’s continued support of Marshall B. Ketchum University endows a scholarship for the School of Physician Assistant Studies.

President of MBKU, Kevin Alexander, OD, PhD with James H. Blake

President of MBKU, Kevin Alexander, OD, PhD with James H. Blake

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.

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.”

MBKU is proud to count this and other private foundation grants, corporate contributions and individual gifts in its first comprehensive fundraising campaign. ACHIEVING 20|20: The Campaign for MBKU will make its official public launch next year. Dedicated alumni, grateful patients and generous community supporters will help MBKU reimagine the future of health care education. For more information contact Erika Bernal, Senior Director of Development & Alumni Relations at 714.992.7832 or ebernal@ketchum.edu.

About Marshall B. Ketchum University
Located in Fullerton, CA, Marshall B. Ketchum University is an independent, private, non-profit, accredited educational institution. MBKU is now home to the Southern California College of Optometry, the School of Physician Assistant Studies and planned College of Pharmacy. Named after the founder of the optometric institution in 1904, the change to a university structure addresses the growing demand for highly skilled health care professionals. The university confers a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS) degree. MBKU’s School of Physician Assistant Studies under the College of Health Sciences awards a Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) degree. MBKU has recently announced plans to establish a College of Pharmacy and plans to welcome its first class in the fall of 2016. MBKU owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – University Eye Center at Fullerton and University Eye Center at Los Angeles. Marshall B. Ketchum University closed on a deal in January, 2015 to purchase a building in Anaheim, CA. The building will be the new home of Ketchum Health, currently the University Eye Center housed at MBKU’s main campus in Fullerton. In addition, the new space will allow for expansion of additional primary health care services, as well as a pharmacy.
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