Charles and Diedre Banks are both graduates of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. They met at the University of Illinois through mutual friends and were married in 2007. Charles graduated from the Grainger College of Engineering with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2004 and is an alumnus of the Morrill Engineering Program. Diedre graduated from the Gies College of Business with her undergraduate degree in Accountancy in 2004 and her Masters of Taxation in 2005.
Upon graduating from the University of Illinois in 2004, Charles started full-time employment with ExxonMobil Corporation. There he has held several leadership positions and continues to advocate in management roles. Diedre started full-time employment in 2005. During her accounting career she gained a wealth of knowledge working in public accounting, federal government, and private industry.
Diedre and Charles's passion has always been philanthropy. In 2007 the family started the Banks Foundation, Inc. which supports educational organizations and other nonprofits to empower people to reach their full potential through love and education. In 2018 Diedre left the accounting field to work for the foundation full-time.
Both Charles and Diedre believe in the importance of giving back to their communities. They received scholarships when they were in school and want to help support other students like themselves. They believe that all students who want to pursue higher education and have proper qualifications should be supported to achieve their goal. As such they started the National Day of Love┬« Community Scholarship Fund, an endowment to help the students have a chance to attend college and pursue higher education. Thus far, eight students have received scholarships since spring 2020 with another two students being recognized this year. The National Day of Love┬« is the third Saturday of March. If you would like to contribute to the endowment, you can find instructions at https://students.grainger.illinois.edu/mep/make-a-gift/