Frank Banko, a Lehigh Valley native, has been part of the Lehigh University family for many years. While Banko was a student at Lehigh in 1938, his father unexpectedly passed away, leaving sole responsibility for the family business upon Banko’s shoulders. Since then, Banko Family Distributors became one of the leading business conglomerates in the Lehigh Valley, including beverage wholesalerships, a truck dealership, and insurance companies. Since his passing in 2011, Banko's businesses are overseen by his daughter, Mary Ellen, and son, Frank III.
Banko’s generous spirit has extended throughout the Lehigh Valley, including support of Liberty High School, Westminster Village, the Banana Factory, Muhlenberg Hospital, and Phoebe Ministries. In 2007, he was honored as outstanding philanthropist by the Eastern Pa. chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Though he was unable to complete his education at Lehigh, Banko has remained active with the university. He generously supported numerous projects including the Frank Banko ’41 Athletic Field, the Lehigh Fund, and the Athletics Partnership. Banko was a member of the Asa Packer Society and Tower Society.