Banterra Scholarship Opens Doors to Opportunity
by Rebecca Renshaw
Danielle Lorentz’s heart bleeds maroon. A senior majoring in communications with specializations in interpersonal and organizational communication, Lorentz refers to herself as a “townie.”
“My mother worked at SIU, so I grew up in Carbondale. We attended tailgates, football games, you name it, we were there. It just felt natural that I would attend SIU. I could not be prouder to be both from Carbondale and be a Saluki,” she said.
In her junior year, Lorentz says, she stumbled upon a study abroad program through the College of Business that would apply toward a minor in international marketing while studying in Grenoble, France. However, she was concerned about the expenses involved with the program and decided to take one of the campus prerequisites to see how she liked the material.
At the same time, Lorentz learned she was a recipient of a Banterra Bank scholarship.
“Knowing I had the funds to study abroad allowed me to continue to pursue my interest in marketing. It was as if a door had opened up and exposed me to a whole new side of the business world. If I hadn’t received the scholarship, I would never have pursued a new path in marketing,” she said.
As it turned out, Lorentz discovered she enjoyed the class and the content. She felt earning a minor in marketing would pair nicely with her communication degree and give her an opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lorentz did not get to realize her dream of studying in France. However, she said the excitement the scholarship gave her and the new path it presented made all the difference.
“I want to thank Banterra Bank for its generosity and its willingness to positively impact students’ lives in ways that didn’t even seem possible. I have already been so fortunate in what SIU has given me and this scholarship added even more,” she said.
Jeff May, president of Banterra Bank, said the Banterra Scholarships were part of an agreement to name the Banterra Center on campus.
“Ensuring that a scholarship program was set up as part of our naming-rights agreement was a key requirement for us to move forward with our SIU partnership,” May said. “Being able to assist with education needs of our youth as well as grow enrollment for one of the region’s largest employers is incredibly important to Banterra.”
When Lorentz heard the scholarships being announced at a SIU basketball game, she felt pride sitting in the stands knowing she was one of the recipients.
“That amount of money can make or break a student’s opportunities. It gives young people like myself the freedom to pay for books or pay for a program or get certified online,” said Lorentz.
“I also want to express to potential donors out there that even though they are giving a monetary donation, for students, it is so much more. Not only does it provide opportunities, it is also a sign of encouragement for students to keep moving forward,” she said.