Blake Ragsdale Van Leer

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Blake R. Van Leer
Blake Ragsdale Van Leer.gif
Born (1893-08-16)August 16, 1893
Mangum, Oklahoma
Died January 23, 1956(1956-01-23) (aged 62)
Occupation University president

Blake Ragsdale Van Leer (August 16, 1893 – January 23, 1956) was the fifth president of Georgia Institute of Technology from 1944 until his death.

Early life and education[edit]

Van Leer was born in Mangum, Oklahoma. After his father's death in 1897 he lived in a Masonic Orphanage in Galveston. He graduated from Purdue University with honors in 1915 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. In 1924 he married Ella Lillian Wall in Berkeley, California.

Dean and officer[edit]

From 1932 to 1937 he was a Dean at the University of Florida.[1] In 1937 he became the Dean of the School of Engineering at NC State University. While there he initiated as an honorary of the NCSU Chapter of Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. Around 1940 with the permission of Dean Harrelson, Van Leer gave half his time towards the North Carolina Office for Defense orders. He resigned his post as Dean in 1942 to take a military leave.[2] During the war he served as a U.S. Army officer (attaining the rank of Colonel), after which he returned to lead the school.

Georgia Tech[edit]

After World War II he returned to become the President of Georgia Tech. During his tenure the school admitted women for the first time[3] and began steps toward integration.[4] He was also instrumental in making the school and Atlanta the first major research center in the American South. The building that houses Tech's school of Electrical and Computer Engineering bears his name.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "History of the ECE Department: 1930-1939". UFL. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  2. ^ "Guide to the North Carolina State University College of Engineering Annual Reports". NCSU. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  3. ^ "Tech marks 50 years of female students". Tech Topics (Georgia Tech Alumni Association). Fall 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  4. ^ McMath, p.282
  5. ^ "Campus Map: Van Leer Building". Retrieved 2007-05-20. 

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]