Staff profile: Barbara Banks

A movie poster for Imitation of Life

Photo courtesy of

By Keenan Lo

Executive staff

Dean Hagi Brad-ley once remarked that “Once Barbara Banks retires, Sewanee’s going to have to hire 12 people to make up for her.” Bar-bara Banks’ official title is the Director of Cam-pus life, but she doubles as a second mother for most. Many people have been touched by her time here, as she loves to talk and truly cares about the people here. Those who can speak to this most are the members of Posse 6 and 8, for whom Banks acts as a Staff Mentor. However, Banks does not always receive the acknowledgement she deserves. According to Bradley, “many people used to believe that she was a robot because of her do not reply emails.” Many of the emails that she used to send said “do not reply” on them, clouding who she really was. So who is Barbara Banks? Banks calls herself “a seed planter. I try to de-posit positive thought in a student mind. I wait for the seed, goal, vision to flourish and watch the students take ownership. I have many days of watching students grow and it just makes my day.” Her favorite movie is “Invitation of Life,” which is not surprising because of the life she breathes into the people she knows. However, be-cause she is a woman of the people, it wouldn’t be right to not have one of her “seeds” talk about what she means to them. Jonathan Brown (C’18) says “she is a moral sup-port for me. She’s some-one I can always go to and talk about anything, and she always has the right advice for me. She can refer me to the re-sources I need to succeed and she is overall a great person and good addition to this campus.” So, if you know Ms. B, hold on to her dearly, because she’s someone who really cares for this campus. If you don’t know Ms. B, she does exist, and you should make an effort to meet her.