Elizabeth Banks
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Elizabeth Courtney "Betty" Banks passed away Saturday, October 10, 2020 in her home.

Elizabeth ("Betty") Banks was an emerita professor of archaeology in the Department of Classics at the University of Kansas. Throughout her career she devoted her sharp intellect and keen eye to the Neolithic site of Lerna, in Greece where she excavated from 1952-1957, both as a Fulbright Scholar and as Capps Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Greece. She remained an active member of the American School throughout her career, as a regular member (in 1973 and 2009) and as a long-time member of the Managing Committee, on which she advocated for contributions from the Midwest.

Betty taught at the Universities of Missouri, Columbia and at Kentucky-Lexington before coming to the University of Kansas in 1966. At KU, Betty taught Greek and Roman archaeology and art. As curator of the Wilcox Classical Museum on the KU campus, Betty oversaw the modernization of the museum as well as the restoration and expansion of its collection. She put similar care into an extensive slide library for the Classics Department. Betty was passionate about undergraduate education and was awarded the J. Michael Young Outstanding Academic Adviser Award and the Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award. She was also a fierce advocate for women's rights. As one of the original "February Sisters," she demanded improvements for women at KU including a women's studies program, female university administrators, dedicated health care for women, children's day care, and an affirmative action program for women faculty. By the Fall 1972, a women's studies program was in place and most of the demands were fully implemented within the year.

Betty will remain known for her high standards in the teaching and practice of archaeology, for her forceful defense of women's rights, for her riveting teaching, and for her critical attention to detail. Her keen energy and love of lively argument will be much missed.

For more information or to post an online condolence visit warrenmcelwain.com.


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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Oct. 25, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
November 2, 2020
What a wonderful teacher. One of the influences for me to become a art educator. Have a wonderful time in eternity with our Lord and Savior. GODS' BLESSINGS.
Dennis Salyer
Student
October 26, 2020
Betty Banks was a great teacher, because she was tougher than I and many Freshman/Sophomores who took her introductory Classics classes anticipated. Greek Mythology became my favorite class that semester. I am forever thankful for that introduction to what was expected of young adults receiving a liberal arts education in the 1980s.
Lori J Phillips
Student
October 25, 2020
Having known Betty for some 20 years, I sadly acknowledge her passing on. She was interesting, challenging, and an example of self-reliance, to be admired by cohorts and those younger than herself who are also willing to challenge the "status quo" in order to make a more equitable world for future generations.
Grace Cooper
Friend
October 25, 2020
Requiescat in pace, Betty Banks, one of the professors who made a difference in my undergraduate years, guiding me in my independent readings of Catullus, Terence, and Plautus.
Stephen Bunch
Student
October 25, 2020
I will remember Betty Banks as a staunch supporter of faculty rights and responsibilities. She had many good ideas on how to improve the academy and did not demure in expressing them. She was an active member of the American Association of University Professors on the KU campus and was active as a member of university governing committees. Betty cared about not only her own professional career but she wanted to make universities the best places they could be for students and faculty alike. I know this fact as I witnessed her work toward this end as a KU Faculty member myself.
With Sincere Sympathy,
Robert Harrington
Robert G. Harrington
Coworker
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