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LAURA N. BANKS, ED.D.

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Birth Date: 1921
Birth Place: Tucson, AZ

Honored By

Donor names:   Dr. Laura N. Banks
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Brick Paver - small
Location on plaza map: B4
Areas of Achievement: Community Building, Education, Religion, African American community
 
I. Education and Degrees: See testimonial.

II. Volunteer Activities: SW Coord. for Neighborhood Youth Corp; Lecturer for Peace Corp, Member, National Council of Women in Adm.; Member, State Employment Advisory Comm. On Minority Problems; AZ Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Comm.; Tucson Civil Service Review Comm.; United Way Board of Dir.; Palo Verde Mental Health Professional Advisory Comm.; Board Member, Big Sisters, Inc.; AZ Board of Regents’ Task Force for the Study of Excellence, Efficiency and Competitiveness of the 3 State Universities; Community Advisor, Junior League of Tucson, Inc.; Honorary Member, Soroptimist International.

III. Obstacles Overcome: Discrimination! Segregated elementary and junior high school; segregated home room in high school; fought to get into swimming pool at the University of AZ.

IV. Awards/Honors: Three Copper Letters from different mayors for "Outstanding community service"; THS Badger Hall of Fame; commencement speaker THS Magnet School June 1989; listed in Tucson Daily Citizen survey under "Women and Minorities with Power," September 1989.
Dr. Laura N. Banks is a native of Tucson, Arizona. Presently, she resides in San Antonio. A product of the Tucson school system, she has earned four degrees from the University of Arizona: Bachelor of Science, Master of Education, Educational Specialist and the Doctorate of Education.

For 39 years, she served as an educator in Tucson as a teacher, Peace Corps Lecturer, Principal, District Reading Coordinator and retired as Assistant Superintendent in the Tucson Unified School District. Presently, she is President/Owner of LNB Enterprises, an educational consulting firm.

Dr. Banks is an avid community worker and volunteer. She has served on numerous local, state and national boards and commissions. Her positions include being past president of the Tucson YWCA, NAACP, Urban League, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Women at the Top; a member of the YWCA National Board for eleven years, a Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary International), International Advisory Board for the University of Arizona College of Education, Advisory Council/UTSA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1999-2002; National Secretary Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., and National Recording Secretary of the Links, Inc.; Charter Member, San Antonio Chapter, Coalition of 100 Black Women; Member, 2nd Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas.

She has received many outstanding awards and commendations. They include the University of Arizona Black Alumni Phenomenal Women Award, University of Arizona Distinguished Citizen Award, YWCA’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award, Shriners Award for Excellence in Education, NAACP Golden Heritage Member, a Robert L. Horn Award and the University of Arizona College of Education Distinguished Service Award, May 2002. Additionally, Dr. Banks is listed in seven different editions of “Who’s Who”, is featured in the 1997 edition of the Southern Arizona Women’s Fund Book, and had an elementary school in Tucson Arizona named in her honor, April 2002 (dedication February 2003).

She and her husband Jack (who is deceased) were owners of Jack’s Original Barbecue for 42 years, and the business was inducted into the Arizona Restaurant Hall of Fame in 1994.