Jim Banks ’84: From Pledge Trainer to Proud Alumnus

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Jim and his wife, Lil, in the Bahamas.

If you pledged Beta in 1983-1984, you probably remember James (Jim) Banks as your chapter VP and pledge trainer. Now, Jim shares his tales of the people he got to meet through Alpha Eta, the milestones he’s celebrating, and why today’s active brothers make him so proud to be a Beta. 

What made you want to give back to Beta Theta Pi so generously recently?

My pledge brother Kevin Charles Kluge '84 of East Aurora, NY and I road tripped for Big Red Weekend in September. We had such a great time that we decided to bundle a gift of support for the brothers.

Why did you join Beta Theta Pi?

I joined Beta for the challenge of surviving the notorious pledge program, making new friends, and the opportunity to live in the Beta House for three years.

What are your favorite memories of Beta Theta Pi?

Bonding with my pledge brothers through overcoming shared challenges, learning the Songs and Lore, and giving back to the active membership as good as we got. Getting to know Misty Shoop, Dexter Tight, Sen. Richard Lugar, Chuck Hall, Bob Dold, and other distinguished alumni as a pledge/active member/alumnus active in LSCMA brings back very fond memories.

What are your favorite Beta Theta Pi traditions/stories?

I had the honor of administering the 1983-1984 pledge program as chapter VP and pledge trainer. Seeing our pledges activate, become successful, and build life-long friendships has been a great source of joy and pride over the years.

What makes you proud to be a Beta?

The 2016 Denison gathering at Beta

The current active members, their love of the fraternity and their tireless efforts to preserve and build on the legacy of Alpha Eta make me glad I’m a Beta!

How would your life be different today without Beta Theta Pi?

I would not have had the unique opportunity to learn critical leadership skills from the great Jack O’Connor.

What advice do you have for today’s active brothers?

March along and rend the air with song.

What are you up to these days?

I am a grandfather, living in the Buffalo, NY area, and approaching retirement—having enjoyed a career in global industrial sales. My wife, Lil, and I will celebrate 30 years in 2017!


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