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Brian Banks Staff Excellence Award

To honor and recognize the service and dedication of longtime employee Brian Banks to the Stamps School community, an anonymous donor has established a new award for staff.

The Brian Banks Staff Excellence Award will be awarded annually to a current staff member who embodies the characteristics that Brian exemplified during his tenure, in recognition of their significant contributions to creating community at the Stamps School. 

Brian Banks, an African American man wearing glasses, smiles next to an illuminated STAMPS sign

The very first award will be given in April 2022: the recipient will get a $1,000 cash award and will be honored at a public reception.

Information on nominating a Stamps staff person for the award and the nomination form can be found here. Nominations will be accepted through March 9, 2022, and the winner and all nominees will be announced and recognized in April 2022

Colleagues and students who worked with Brian through the years are thrilled he will continue to inspire Stamps staff through this award to be their best and make a difference.

John Luther, Career Development Coordinator at Stamps, says that Brian has been his partner in crime for 20 years. When I needed a colleague for collaboration, assistance, or just a great listener, Brian was there,” said John. Brian is one of the warmest, kindest, and truly giving people I have ever met. Brian truly cares about students and their success. Every Type A personality needs a Brian Banks in their lives!”

Dean’s Advisory Council member Shane Ward added, Over the last 15 years I have had the pleasure of working with Brian on a few initiatives. From developing Design Internship opportunities, Shoe Design Workshops, MLK Spirit Awards, Annual Cookouts, and Lecture Series to name a few. He curated the blueprint on how Stamps can gauge success through programs and initiatives driven by creativity, DEI, and true collaboration. He will be dearly missed.”

Brian Banks talks to a line of students, wearing caps and gowns, at commencement
Brian gathers graduating students for the 2016 Commencement ceremony

Brian joined the Stamps School of Art & Design in 1998 as a student services assistant, then academic advisor, and most recently as Diversity and Inclusion Advisor. Brian has made it his mission to reach out to students and support them through every step of their Stamps journey and even after graduation. At each Stamps commencement ceremony, Brian is often mentioned by students as someone who helped them reach their goals. 

Having Brian as my academic advisor for my four years at Stamps was one of the greatest parts of my college career,” said alum Alexa Borromeo. Brian supported me as a student and an artist, but he also supported me as simply a young person trying to navigate life. I’ve been blessed to build a friendship with Brian as an alum, and he will always be a person I am grateful to have in my life.”

Brian’s many accomplishments at Stamps include founding the Stamps In Color (SiC) student organization, planning Commencement ceremonies, and helping to plan the annual North Campus MLK Day celebration. Recently, he received both a staff award and a special recognition award at the 2022 North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards.

A group of faculty, staff, and students in the Stamps courtyard
Brian with Stamps In Color members

Brian is retiring on June 1, 2022, after 38 years of service to the university. This will allow him more time with his family, and a chance to explore entrepreneurial opportunities while continuing work on his website your​ca​reer​day​.com and expanding it into a nonprofit. 

Mike Vitale, Studio Coordinator at Stamps, sums up Brian’s impact on the Stamps community. Brian is an institution unto himself. He is liked by students, faculty, and staff alike. He’s always been willing and passionate about creating opportunities for our students and improving how the school works for them. You can see how much he cares about the success of these students, and you know they pick up on it, too.”

Brian Banks - an African American man with glasses, wearing a shirt and tie - smiles