THE INVESTITURE OF
Georgia State University celebrated “Our Place, Our Time,” the Investiture of M. Brian Blake, the university’s eighth president, the week of Sept. 11-16th. Georgia State hosted a week-long series of events tied to the university’s four pillars: research and innovation, student success, college to career and placemaking. The university opened its 8,000-seat Convocation Center, where the Investiture Ceremony was held. Formerly provost at George Washington University, President Blake is a proven academic leader and an acclaimed engineer and computer scientist.
Named Georgia State’s eighth president in 2021, President Blake is a proven academic leader and an acclaimed engineer and computer scientist. Since arriving at Georgia State, Dr. Blake has focused his strategic visioning around central pillars.
He came to Georgia State after two years as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at George Washington University, where he oversaw the academic mission of the institution, supporting all academic endeavors and overseeing the research enterprise across the university’s 10 schools and colleges. Prior to joining George Washington in 2019, Blake was Executive Vice President for Academics and the Nina Henderson Provost at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he led the implementation of a new, responsibility-centered budget model and the president’s strategic plan. He developed the academic vision, “Creating the 21st Century Academic Experience.” During his four-year tenure, Blake helped Drexel recruit its most academically gifted class, achieve the highest retention rate in the university’s history and increase research activity to all-time high levels.
His research has received more than $12 million in funding, and he is an author of more than 200 scholarly publications.
Dr. Blake is the first Black president in the university’s 114-year history. Dr. Blake grew up in Savannah, Ga., and attended Benedictine Military Academy. He and his wife, Bridget, have two sons, Brendan and Bryce.
Dr. Bridget Blake is the First Lady of Georgia State University. In her professional career, she serves as a principal business analyst for the MITRE Corporation. Dr. Bridget, as she is known around campus, received her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. She holds a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management and finance from Johns Hopkins University. In 2021, she earned an executive doctorate in business administration in leadership decision-making from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She and President Blake have two sons, Brendan and Bryce.
The installation of a new president is a ceremony of dignity with many academic traditions and protocols. An academic procession takes place that includes delegates from other colleges and universities, as well as Georgia State’s own faculty.
Marchers wear the colorful academic regalia of their own institution. Interspersed with musical selections, there will be the processional, invocation, greetings from several university and community groups, presentation of the symbols of office, chancellor address, singing of the Alma Mater, benediction, and the recessional.
Through President Blakes's conversations with members of the Georgia State community and in combination with his aspirations for Georgia State, he led the formation of four major pillars that the university can build upon that serve as the framework for community-led, strategic planning effort underway this year.