‘I love YSU dearly’: Student government renames award after spirited Penguins alumna

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Rebecca Banks was the first to receive her own award at YSU’s Student Awards Banquet this year

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A familiar face at Youngstown State University’s campus received a unique surprise from students.

“It was important to us that we have someone to guide future student governments by providing a model of what school spirit is all about. That is why I am beyond proud to announce the official name change of the Student Government Association Spirit Award to the Rebecca Banks Spirit Award,” said Justin Shaughnessy, of the YSU Student Government Association.

Rebecca Banks is a YSU alumna and active member of YSU’s community. So, it only seemed right to Shaughnessy that she have an award named in her honor.

“To know that they were thanking me for my care and my concern; I love YSU dearly. If you know me, you know that,” Banks said.

Banks said she had no idea this was happening and the surprise was very overwhelming.

“They were like, ‘We want to rename the spirit award after Rebecca Banks,’ and I’m like, ‘Ohhh!’ I was so touched, my heart was just, just moved to tears and I was so excited,” she said.

Banks has her own show on YSU’s Rookery Radio. She also makes a conscious effort to be involved in all things YSU, from events to academics to the lives of students.

“I have such good memories, and they have taught me a lot and more than that they show real concern for me and for each other,” Banks said.

Banks was also the first to receive the award under its new name as part of YSU’s Student Awards Banquet, which was held virtually this year.

Shaughnessy said Banks deserved it.

“From this point forward, every year, we’ll give out two Rebecca Banks Spirit Awards,” he said.

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