Alumni Spotlights

Montana Beta a Home Away from Home for Douglas “Doug” Banks ’79


SAE_MT_F17 BanksAs an 18 year old moving 2,300 miles away from home, Douglas “Doug” Banks ’79 found a lifetime of brotherhood at the University of Montana with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. “I needed guidance as a young man. Leaving my family and friends back home in Baltimore, Md., wasn’t easy, but I quickly found friendship and guidance within Montana Beta.” Doug’s decision to join took root when he attended recruitment, but was cemented because of Wayne Dale Erlenbush ’78 detailing the benefits and advantages of Montana Beta brotherhood.

Doug grew into many roles with Montana Beta and had leadership skills instilled while earning his degree in education. “My phoenix moment hit during my third year as a Beta. The house membership was in trouble and I received an unexpected call from a member I did not always see eye to eye with. Mark Kjoss wanted my help with recruitment and asked that we put our differences aside for the better of the chapter. I was so impressed and moved by his unselfishness that I agreed. I went on to be Eminent Archon, served as treasurer for two years, and also steward for three years.” Sadly, Mark was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to graduate. “It was an honor to have been able to work with such a dedicated member.”

After graduation, those values and strengths he learned as a member were put into practice. As an alumnus, Doug served as House Corporation President for 10 years. “Being a part of SAE taught me strategic planning, community relations, collaboration, and interpersonal relationship skills. Montana Beta was always organizing events and committed to helping the community.”

Doug has also stayed involved with SAE beyond Montana Beta, serving as Province Archon for Province Phi. He has also used his leadership skills in his current role as a principal at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and prior to that as a teacher for 21 years.

Mentoring comes naturally to Doug and he encourages alumni to remember why they joined and the good times they had as members of Montana Beta. To undergraduates, he would love to have feedback or questions and he asks that they reach out to alumni. “Getting involved in community, service projects, organizing work in the community and stretching your experiences is the best use of your time in the chapter house.”

When Doug is not at the school, you can find him traveling with his wife, Christine. They also enjoy camping, snow skiing, and fishing. They spend family time with their children and new grandchild. Doug can be contacted via email at


To read more spotlights click the links below.

Fall 2017: Douglas “Doug” Banks ’79
Spring 2017: Gary Fish ’62
Fall 2015: Hal Gillet ’53 and Dick Ford ’64
Spring 2014: Bob Higham ’58
Fall 2014: Don Krumm ’64
Spring 2014: Bob Higham ’58
Fall 2013: Jim Wilits ’64, Kurt Ingold ’14
Spring 2013: Bob Haynam ’65, Max Boese, Oregon Gamma ’62
Fall 2011: Tom Ross ’62
Spring 2011: Dennis Stevens ’64
Fall 2010: Lawrence “Tony” Wertz ’65
Summer 2010: John L. Olson ’62, David Bell ’96
Spring 2009: Bill Bouchee ’63
Fall 2008: Kenneth C. Mlekush ’60

Our Mission

The mission of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is to promote the highest standards of friendship, scholarship, and service for our members based upon the ideals set forth by our Founders and as specifically enunciated in our creed, "The True Gentleman."
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P.O. Box 3343, Missoula, MT 59806