Blakes Award $2 Million To Springfield College:
October 16, 2006
Building To Be Renamed Herbert P. Blake Hall
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Oct. 16, 2006 – Springfield College today announced that S. Prestley Blake and Helen Davis Blake will contribute $2 million to support the college through its fund raising campaign, and that the college will change the name of Wilbraham Hall to Herbert P. Blake Hall in honor of S. Prestley Blake’s late father.
S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of the Friendly Ice Cream Corp, credits his parents, Herbert and Ethel Blake, for his success in life and in business and considers their memories to be his ongoing guiding forces. The college will conduct a rededication ceremony of Herbert P. Blake Hall on Oct. 20, 2006, at 1 p.m.
In announcing the gift, Helen Blake said, “It is especially fitting to honor Pres’ father, whose memory continues to inspire us, with a gift that will allow Springfield College to continue its mission of educating students in spirit, mind and body to become tomorrow’s leaders in service to others. We believe strongly in Springfield College as a leader in its field, and in the efforts of President Flynn to continue and extend the college’s excellence. The college is a treasure in our community.”
Responding to the gift, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn said, “We are deeply grateful to Pres and Helen Blake. Their gift will help enable us to continue to educate students with our core value of service to others. The Blakes, by their generous donation of time, talent and resources, exemplify the humanitarian principles that guide all aspects of the Springfield College education.”
Helen Davis Blake, who earned her master’s degree in education from Springfield College, is vice chair of the college’s board of trustees and co-chair of its funding campaign, Leadership for the 21st Century, The Campaign for Springfield College. She is a retired teacher and has served on the college’s board of trustees for 17 years.
Pres and Helen Blake, through their philanthropy, have supported schools, universities, libraries, and theaters throughout Western Massachusetts and beyond.
The soon-to-be-named Herbert P. Blake Hall is the former Standard Electric Time Company building. Herbert P. Blake worked for the Standard Electric Time Company in the development and marketing of the company’s products and retired as vice president in charge of sales.
Springfield College acquired the Standard Electric Time Building in 1990 and renovated it in 2002 into a modern academic building. It now comprises 60,000 square feet of classrooms, study areas, academic departments, faculty offices, conference rooms, art studios, galleries, and the Alden Center for Interactive Learning, a videoconferencing facility.
Leadership for the 21st Century: The Campaign for Springfield College entered its public phase in June 2005 with a goal of $40 million. With the Blakes’ gift, the college has raised more than $27 million.
Through its fund raising campaign, the college recently began renovation of Schoo Hall into a state-of-the-art science teaching facility. The college also plans to construct a new wellness center, field house, and campus union.