Campus News

Gloria Bryant Banks: A Birthday Wish

Preparing for her 90th birthday celebration, DU Alumna and former National Secretary of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Gloria Bryant Banks asked her friends to make monetary donations to Dillard University in lieu of gifts for her.

Ms. Banks shared, “By the calendar to my 90th birthday, I thought, well, what do I want? Well, I didn’t want anything, really. Well, what do I need? Nothing. When you get to be 90, if you haven’t had it by 90, then you don’t need it.”

With a thoughtful pause, she realized the perfect way to celebrate. “I gave some thought to it, you know, and all of a sudden, oh, Dillard. And I said, wait a minute. I said, I haven’t been the best alumnus over the years. Now here’s an opportunity. I said, I know what I’ll do. I will ask all of my friends for a monetary gift rather than a gift.”

Ms. Banks recognized the importance of making a meaningful contribution during her lifetime. “It dawned on me that my gift needed to be a working gift. We know that so many people give gifts upon their death. I wanted to see my money, my gift to Dillard, working. I wanted to know that the young people on campus now, that I participated in their being here at whatever level.”

Ms. Banks’ donation is not only a tribute to her alma mater but also a family legacy. “This gift is in memory of my sister, and in honor of my son. My sister, was the class of 1951. She was the second person in my family to graduate from college, and she was the first female to graduate. And she graduated from Dillard.”

“Last year, I celebrated 70 years since being initiated into Delta Sigma Theta sorority on campus. Life was much different then, but we felt honored and blessed to be part of it.”

Banks’ birthday donations that continue to be sent to Dillard University from her friends, family and supporters will support current and future students, ensuring that they have the resources they need to succeed. The resources they need to succeed.


Dillard University will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth and will reopen on Thursday, June 20, at 8 a.m.