Family 'jubilee' at College Manor marks a pair of 60th anniversaries

It was July 1, 1952, that Dr. William H. "Dinty" Moore III, president and proprietor of the long-gone Maryland College for Women in Lutherville, opened the College Manor retirement facility on the college's former campus, in the 300 block of Seminary Avenue.

That very day is when Moore's daughter, Jane Banks, first came to work at College Manor.

She's been there ever since.

Until recently, Moore has served as president and chief administrator at College Manor. All through those six decades, she and her family have owned and operated the facility.

"I essentially started as the receptionist, then I was a nursing assistant and I even did maintenance work like clearing drains and scrubbing floors," said Banks, 75, who recently turned the presidency of College manor over to her daughter, Bunny Renaud.

On Sunday, June 24, staff and residents at College Manor came together for a shared celebration of Banks' 60 years of service — and College Manor's 60 years of operation.

The special "diamond jubilee" celebration included an elegant high tea and a catered picnic on the retirement center's rolling, tree-shaded lawn.

In a brief ceremony, Banks was presented with proclamations and certificates of appreciation from the Baltimore County Council and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz — who also proclaimed Sunday, June 24, 2012 as "Jane M. Banks Day" in Baltimore County.

In his proclamation, 3rd District Baltimore County CouncilmanTodd Huff noted that "The residents (at College Manor) feel the difference between a facility and a family."

Staff and residents seemed to advance the idea that College Manor is nothing if not a family operation.

On hand to congratulate Banks were daughter Renaud, son John and several grandchildren, all of whom work at College Manor in one capacity or another, along with several other family members.

"We also have some employees who have been here for more than 40 years, as well as some families who've had three generations working here," said Renaud, a registered nurse.

"It's an amazing group of people," she said. "A couple years ago when we had a blizzard with 52 inches of snow, we had a full staff. They just came and stayed right through until the crisis was over. They are incredibly loyal."

At the moment, Banks and her family and friends at College Manor have something else to celebrate in addition to the center's longstanding place in the community. Banks's grand-daughter Devon, her son John's daughter, is heading off the Naval Academy this fall.

That's where her great-grandfather and College Manor founder — Dr. William H. "Dinty" Moore III — served as head lacrosse coach for 23 years, and led Navy to six national championships.

"When we said grace at dinner when I was growing up, we always ended with 'Amen .... Beat Army!" Renaud recalled with a grin.

On Sunday, Renaud added another duty to her list of responsibilities — serving as the unofficial photographer for the celebration.

She captured the sense of the family-like closeness and familiarity as she darted from table to table, hugging and snapping pictures of employees, residents and a handful of guests, many of whom sported special old-fashioned straw hats that were given out just for the occasion.

This year College Manor decided to mark the anniversray with the party instead of its traditional fireworks display — a decision that Renaud said was made last year when the center decided it would simply be too cost prohibitive.

On Sunday, when it was said and done, she said the effort to mark the 60th anniversary was a success.

"It was really important that my mom have a beautiful day today," she said, "and I think she has."

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