B.A., Denison University, 1975
Citation awarded June, 2010
For 16 years, Joe Banner’s work with the Philadelphia Eagles has established him as one of the NFL’s top executives. As COO, then VP/COO, then president, he has been involved in the creation and execution of every department in the organization. He restructured the football operation, boldly hired Andy Reid, created the league’s most respected marketing operation, and formed the nationally acclaimed Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP). In short, Joe is the catalyst for the Eagles’ reputation as one of the most dynamic and progressive organizations in all of sports.
At the same time, he has been a dynamic community catalyst as well. By selling pink hats, shirts, and ties adorned with the Eagles logo, the Eagles Tackling Breast Cancer campaign has raised over $1 million for breast-cancer awareness, patient care and research in the Philadelphia area.
Joe received the American Red Cross 2004 Citizen of the Year Award for Philadelphia, acknowledging his outstanding corporate leadership and community service. His EYP program has touched the lives of millions of local children and young people through he Eagles Eye Mobile, Eagles Book Mobile, and the annual Eagles Carnival. He also played an integral role in bringing the City Year Urban Youth Corps to Philadelphia, providing young people with the opportunity to strengthen their community through a wide range of volunteer service programs. Joe has served as the co-chair of the Philadelphia City Year board of directors, was elected to its national board of trustees and chaired its National Leadership Committee.
In 2006, Joe was honored with the Distinguished Community Leadership Award by Operation Understanding. In 2007, former President George W. Bush honored Joe at a national convention on volunteering and service, held in Philadelphia.
This heaping-on of accolades can be hard for Joe, who is humble at heart. His remarks after accepting the 2004 Red Cross award were typically succinct: “The greatest leaders do not necessarily do the greatest things; but they get others to do great things. Whether you are the leader or the doer, I ask all of you to not ever allow yourself to be neither.”
For Denison, Joe has been a supporter of the Alumni D Association.
We honor Joe Banner ’75 for understanding that the power of position is most effectively and compassionately used to better the position of those who have no power.