a tribute from Nancy Coleman

J. Herman Blake has been an inspiration to me since I first met him in September 1966 when I arrived at UCSC for my freshman year.  While I was at Stevenson for the first two years and then moved to Merrill as junior I was always following Herman Blake’s dreams for students to interact with the communities around them.  Before Merrill opened in the fall of 1968 I worked with the Provost Philip Bell to evaluate ways that incoming Merrill students could provide mentoring to Santa Cruz high school students.

While I did not make it to South Carolina, I went to Social Work school, worked in the Detroit community and then moved to Washington DC where for the last 35 years I have worked on law and aging issues as they relate to vulnerable populations.  I found a Herman Blake protégé in Washington, Alfred “Chip” Chiplin, who had been to South Carolina and who had been in Operations Crossroads Africa just as I had.  Chip and I have worked together for the last three decades and often speak of Herman Blake as our mutual mentor.

I am honored to be able to be in Santa Cruz to celebrate.

Nancy Coleman, 1970