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Rebekah Banta sees secure job future thanks to degree made possible with scholarship help

Rebekah Banta is taking three classes this fall in the new Koch Global Trading Center. With her is Timothy Craft, finance professor and director of the center.
Rebekah Banta is taking three classes this fall in the new Koch Global Trading Center. With her is Timothy Craft, finance professor and director of the center.

Rebekah Banta isn't too concerned that she hasn't got a job lined up yet for when she graduates in December from Wichita State University.

“I know that I’ve got a solid degree and a solid education that have given me the skills many employers are looking for,” the 23-year-old finance major said during a conversation in the Koch Global Trading Center, where she is taking three classes this semester. “I’m pretty confident that the right opportunity will come along because there is a lot of demand for people with finance degrees.”

There’s another reason Banta isn’t overly anxious about a job right now. She’s pouring a lot of her time and energy into raising her 3-year-old son, Braxton, and being a wife to husband, Matt. At least when December rolls around, she won’t have to make the four-times-a-week commute to Wichita from their home in Arkansas City.

As a resident of Arkansas City, Banta was a candidate for the Bob and Pat White Endowed Scholarship in Business, which gives preference to married students who transfer to WSU from Cowley County Community College. Banta got an associate’s degree from the community college in mathematics.

Bob and Pat White were transfer students from Cowley County themselves, moving to Wichita in 1969 to pursue degrees at WSU. Knowing first-hand the challenges that students face trying to attend college, work and make time for family, they created their scholarship in 2004 to help ease some of that burden.

The Whites’ ongoing support of Wichita State included the creation in 2009 of the Bob and Pat White Fellowship in Accounting. Bob earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in accountancy in 1971, then went on to get a Master of Business Administration in 1976. He started a career with Garvey International that led him to the position of president in 1982. He bought the company in 1996. Bob and Pat are now retired and living in Scottsdale, Ariz.

For Banta, getting a college degree would have been much more difficult without the White scholarship, which she received for both of her years at Wichita State. She hasn’t had to work during that time, which has allowed her to focus on her classwork and, of course, her family. She has a 3.1 GPA.

“Both of my parents have college degrees, and they were very supportive of me getting one, too,” Banta says. “But with eight kids, there wasn’t any way they could pay for it. I knew that I would have to get financial aid, so this scholarship has been a blessing. I’m so appreciative to the Whites.”

She was delighted, Banta says, when she arrived on the first day of classes this fall to see the new Koch Global Trading Center for the first time.

“I had no idea it would be so high-tech,” she says. “Everything the professor is trying to show us can be viewed on our monitors. It feels more realistic and professional.”

The Koch Global Trading Center was financed primarily with private donations. It opened this past summer in Clinton Hall.

 

circle arrow Find out how you can help WSU students earn their degrees through scholarship aid. Contact Joseph Hunter, WSU Foundation vice president for development, at 316-978-3808 or josephl.hunter@wichita.edu. To learn more about supporting the long-term success of the Koch Global Trading Center, contact Angela Dudley at 316-978-3837 or angela.dudley@wichita.edu.