The School of Education community is shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Cerri A. Banks ’00, G’04, G’06 (1967-2022), Chair of the Board of Visitors, a member of the Board since 2009, and Syracuse University’s Vice President for Student Experience and Deputy to the Senior Vice President.
Deeply committed to educational reform, inclusion, and the student experience, Cerri championed the School she loved and which she says helped to transform her life. As Interim Dean Kelly Chandler-Olcott notes, “No one has been a better advocate for SOE in recent memory—or a better example of the values we seek to uphold.” We will sorely miss our colleague and friend.Cerri Banks Obituary
Message From Allen Groves, Senior Vice President and Chief Student Experience Officer
Aug. 1, 2022
Dear Fellow Members of the Syracuse University Community:
I am writing today with great sadness to share the news of the passing of Cerri Banks, vice president for the student experience and deputy to the senior vice president, and a longtime member of the Orange community.
Cerri was a three-time alumna of Syracuse University, having earned a bachelor’s degree in inclusive elementary and special education, a master’s degree in cultural foundations of education and a Ph.D. in cultural foundations of education—all from the School of Education. She credited her time as a Syracuse student for changing the trajectory of her life. After a distinguished career in higher education, last summer Cerri returned home to her alma mater to ensure today’s generation of Syracuse students had a similar transformative experience.
Cerri’s impact at Syracuse will be felt for years to come. In addition to playing a key role in the Student Experience division, Cerri served as a member of the three-person interim leadership team charged with advancing the University’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility priorities and strategic planning efforts. She was a member of the Board of Visitors at the School of Education since 2009, and served as its chair for the past seven years. Her professional life was defined by a commitment to students and to the field of education. Those who had the opportunity to know her personally experienced her kindness, authenticity, intellect and humor. Cerri will be greatly missed by her family, friends, colleagues, and all who knew and loved her.
Losing a member of our community is never easy. For students, confidential counseling is available at the Barnes Center at The Arch, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 315.443.8000. Students seeking ongoing assistance may contact the support services and case management team in Student Outreach and Retention, Monday through Friday, at 315.443.4357. Faculty and staff may reach trained clinicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through Carebridge, the University’s Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. They can be reached at 800.437.0911. Hendricks Chapel remains available to provide additional support and services for all campus community members by calling 315.443.2901.
I ask that you please join Chancellor Syverud, Provost Ritter, me and the rest of the University leadership team in extending our deepest sympathies to Cerri’s loved ones. Please keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time.