Shortly before her 96th birthday, Mrs. Olga Banks recalled with fondness the impact of education in her life and in the lives of students whom she taught as she established the Olga Banks Scholarship Fund with Permian Basin Area Foundation. Mrs. Banks passed away at 102 in February 2018. Now her scholarship fund dreams are becoming a reality. With assets from the Olga Banks Scholarship Fund, her legacy of touching the lives of students in West Texas will continue for generations.
Mrs. Banks taught in the Midland Independent School District beginning in 1952, first at South Elementary, then San Jacinto Junior High, Midland High School, and finally, for 15 years at Lee High School. Mrs. Bank dedicated more than 30 years to the students in MISD.
Recalling her days as an educator, she listed character, discipline, integrity, manners, and education as traits that are important to her and ones she stressed to her students. Humbly, Mrs. Banks would explain quite simply, “I want to think that I have helped students along the way to gain an education and to develop traits of character and integrity.”
Mrs. Banks’ close association with Midland schools is reflected in her scholarship criteria which benefits graduates of Midland and Lee high schools and students attending Midland College. It is Mrs. Banks’ “hope and desire that scholarships from this fund will enable worthy students to better their circumstances by providing an opportunity to further their education.” As she so aptly put it, “You never really know whose lives you touch.”
In establishing this scholarship fund, Mrs. Banks was deeply aware and appreciative of those who came before her enabling her to make this gift. These people include her beloved husband, W.A. (Bill) Banks; her parents Eddie Handly and Calvin E. Trammell; and her grandparents, Ada Tallula and Edward Jackson Handly. It is an honor for Permian Basin Area Foundation to continue Mrs. Banks’ legacy of philanthropy through her scholarship fund.
To learn more about how to apply for or establish a scholarship fund that will touch the lives of young aspiring students in West Texas communities, contact Sherri Heiting, scholarships administrator, at 432.617.3213.