Arthur C. Banks Jr. of Wethersfield, founding president and president emeritus of Greater Hartford Community College, now Capital Community College, died Sunday at Hartford Hospital. He was 91.
Banks was a professor of political science at Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1956 to 1967, when he came to Hartford as the first president of Greater Hartford Community College.
During his tenure in Hartford, Banks, the first black college president in Connecticut, received many awards for educational excellence and honorary doctorate degrees for his pioneering contribution and vision to providing quality and affordable education.
Banks served as a trustee on the Hartford Hospital Board, Hartford Symphony Board, Hartford Library Board and many other corporate boards and civic organizations.
Banks received a bachelor of science degree in 1939 from St. John's University, his master's degree in 1945 at New York University and his doctorate in 1949 at Johns Hopkins University.
Banks is survived by two sons, Arthur and John, and a sister, Bernice Simms of Flushing, N.Y.
Charitable contributions in his honor may be made to the Arthur C. Banks Library at Capital Community College, 950 Main St., Hartford, CT 06103; the Salvation Army, Southern New England Division, 855 Asylum Ave., Hartford, CT 06105; and to Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104 or the website splcenter.org.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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