1976-1977 Mildred Banfield
Banfield Residence Hall honors memory of longtime university supporter This article about the dedication of Banfield Hall appeared in The Whalesong, the UAS student newspaper on Nov. 7, 1997. By Heather Montez
Banfield, known as "Millie" to friends, was born in Fremont, Neb. She studied business at Midland College and the University of Chicago. She came to Alaska in 1946, married Norman Banfield in 1951 and had two children, Nancy and Julie.
Education was one of Banfield's main interests and her involvement in education is seen throughout her life. From teaching in a small rural community school to chairing, at different times, both the Senate and House Health, Education and Welfare committees, Banfield persisted in creating a better education system for students.
Banfield's legislative career included two years in the Senate and eight years in the State House. During this time, she served on the joint House-Senate committee on higher education for eight years. She was involved, as a member of the House of Representatives, in getting the legislation passed which established the Alaska Postsecondary Education Commission and was appointed to the commission by Gov. Jay Hammond and served as its chairman for two years. She was appointed in 1976 to the Board of Regents and served until 1983. During her term as regent, she helped lay the groundwork for merging the state's community colleges with the other four-year schools.
Banfield died June 5, 1991, one day after she fell into a coma from a massive brain hemorrhage. She was 77. She isn't here to see her legacy, but Banfield Hall stands as a symbol of what she wanted for Juneau and the university.