Alpha Nu Omega

Official website of Alpha Nu Omega Fraternity at the University of Minnesota Duluth

In Memoriam...

"... and the light of Brotherhood shall burn throughout Eternity."

John L. Banks


John L. Banks was born on October 15, 1941, in Superior, Wisconsin. At age 6, he and his family moved to a farm in northern Wisconsin where, for the following 7 years, he developed a unique closeness to family. When John was 13, the family returned to the Duluth/Superior area. During John's two years at Duluth Cathedral, he played hockey, dabbled in theater and learned to love the family log cabin known as "The Shack" on the Brule River in Wisconsin.

John's time at UMD was spent pursuing a wide variety of activities. Although John's major was Political Science, he devoted much of his time to his ROTC minor and flying. He was also devoted to the fraternity and was very active in other school activities as well. He was the Co-Chairman of the Engagement Ball in 1962 and Co-Chairman of the ROTC Blue Tie Dance in 1963. In 1961-2, John was the Public Relations and Alumni Chairman, and in 1962-3 he was the Vice President of the Active Chapter. John's accomplishments were not without recognition; in 1961-2 he received the Arrowhead Award, and in 1962-3 he was awarded the American Legion Award.

John was killed in a plane crash in Pleiku, Vietnam on March 28, 1966, when his C-130 was hit by rocket fire.

John typefied Alphas - academic achievement, active participation in fraternity and other organizations, and a strong, personal allegiance to his brothers. Shortly before his death, John wrote the following statement expressing his feelings and attitudes about his role as an Air Force officer:

I Am An American

I am an American, defender of freedom and guardian of the Nation.

The services I render to my country is not only duty, but an honor and a privilege. Duty, as a citizen whose life holds responsibility for country in high regard. Honor, as an individual before God, with respect for the ideals that make these United States a democracy. Privilege, for the ability to give and to be fortunate enough to have been born in a land where my life, mind, and ideals are my own.

To serve our country as a fighting man is a trust bestowed on me by the people. It is my hope for millions outside our borders who suffer under the rampage of tyranny and the absence of justice and freedom.

As an American fighting man, I find faith in my God and courage from those who have gone before me. My reason for service is a symbol for all men to see that the sacrifice of my fellow Americans was not in vain.

I make no claim to another's land or government, but stand ready at the borders of freedom, not as an aggressor, but as a defender; and the Nations of the world will know that "the pursuit of happiness" is more than spoken words, but a way of life.

The orders I receive are derived from the people and I am responsible to them.

Lt. John L. Banks III, USAF

The Alumni Association names its first scholarship the "John L. Banks Memorial Scholarship" in his honor.


John L. Banks with Alpha's 1963 All-Participation Sno Week trophy.

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