Alumna Iris Banister to Address Graduate Student Commencement May 7

Geneseo alumna Iris Banister

GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo alumna Iris Banister, an accomplished author and motivational speaker, will address Geneseo's master's degree commencement at 10 a.m. May 7 in Wadsworth Auditorium. She will speak on "Success Comes in CANS." More than 60 graduate students will receive degrees at the ceremony. Geneseo offers master's degrees in education, accounting, and communicative disorders and sciences.

Banister received her master of science degree in education from Geneseo in 1970. She earned a doctorate in Theological Counseling from the Master's International School of Divinity in Indiana. She also has a bachelor of science degree from Jarvis Christian College in Texas.

"The Rev. Dr. Banister is a dynamic educator and leader and we're delighted she is participating in this special occasion on our campus," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "It is fitting that an alumna from one of our graduate programs returns to address our graduate students now receiving their degrees. She has made tremendous contributions to public education and community development and we look forward to her inspirational message."

Banister is a member of Geneseo's College Council, a group of community members appointed by the governor to advise the college's senior administration. She also contributes as a board member and gives volunteer service to many non-profit, community based organizations. Prior to retirement, Banister served the Rochester School District in various capacities for 32 years, including time as an elementary school teacher, reading specialist and guidance counselor. She came out of retirement to become principal of the Charter School of Science and Technology. She also served as executive director of the Rochester Children's Zone, a collaborative effort to improve the overall quality of life and education in northeast Rochester.

Banister has earned numerous awards and recognitions including the City of Rochester Pioneer Award; the Mayor's Renaissance Award - Outstanding Educator; MLK Achievement Award for Civic Engagement; the New York State Humanitarian Award; and the Rochester mayor's Unsung Heroes Award. She has traveled extensively to Africa and is focused on the growth and development of women and their children in Ghana.

Media Contact:
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516