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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Retired CSU System chancellor Joe Blake dies at 86

Colorado+State+University+Chancellor+Emeritus+Joe+Blake+died+Tuesday+at+86.+%5BCourtesy+photo%2FPHOCO%5D
Colorado State University Chancellor Emeritus Joe Blake died Tuesday at 86. [Courtesy photo/PHOCO]

Mentor, advocate and ‘beloved man’

By  Cassime Joseph and Regan Foster

Colorado State University leaders were remembering one of their own Wednesday for his passion, advocacy and commitment to higher education.

CSU System Chancellor Emeritus Joe Blake died Tuesday in Fort Collins. He was 86.

“He was a friend of CSU Pueblo. He was a friend of the City of Pueblo,” said CSU Pueblo President Dr. Timothy Mottet. “He was always supportive and he offered me great advice.”

Mottet described Blake as a mentor, advocate and “beloved man” with a great sense of humor.

“He was smart, caring,” Dr. Mottet said. “He believed in higher education and the whole mission of higher education. He reminded us about the importance of doing the work of higher education.”

“He was there to offer supportive advice for me. He listened and he listened incredibly well.”
— CSU Pueblo President Dr. Timothy Mottet

“Joe was the first full-time chancellor of our system,” Chancellor Tony Frank said in a statement. He further called Blake: “a tireless advocate for education and one of the staunchest champions of our students and scholars.

“He was also a model of grace, goodwill and good humor, whose love of language, passion for ideas and commitment to this state and its people were unsurpassed,” Frank continued. “We are grateful to have had Joe on our team and he remains in our hearts.”

Blake, a native of Denver, earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and completed his post-graduate work at the University of Colorado Law School.

According to his profile in the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, he was “a passionate community advocate and leader” who served on a wide variety of boards and commissions. Some of those include The Denver Foundation, Denver Scholarship Foundation, Denver Police Foundation, Colorado Baseball Commission, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Denver Area Boy Scouts, Metro Denver Sports Commission and the Denver South Platte River Commission.

He helped create the community of Highlands Ranch and worked to bring Major League Baseball to Colorado, according to the hall of fame biography.

In 2006, then-Gov. Bill Owens appointed Blake to serve on the Colorado State University Board of Governors. He was named the systems first full-time chancellor in 2009, a post he held until 2011.

He continued on as chancellor emeritus and was a highly successful fundraiser and advocate for campus programs and scholarships until his death.

Dr. Mottet said Blake was always eager and willing to meet and hear updates on happenings, needs and developments from Pueblo.

“He wanted to know what’s going on, what’s happening and what’s not happening,” he said. “He was there to offer supportive advice for me. He listened and he listened incredibly well.

“He [was] a beloved man. … He will be missed.”

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