KIP Exemplified by Distinguished Speakers

Hall of Famer Bob Perkins, ’58, and “Honorary Alumnus” Arlen Wiley collaborated to make an outstanding presentation to Thornton students.

Each of our recent distinguished speakers either reflects in his/her career or spoke directly about the real-world importance and application of Thornton’s motto, “Knowledge Is Power.”

Kathy Bankhead, ’76, told an attentive student audience that “a knowledgeable person is a powerful person.” Kathy, a Cook County assistant state’s attorney, went on to say, “KIP means the power to choose wisely, to avoid having contact with the criminal justice system…and so to be master of your own destiny.”

» This article appeared in the Summer 2012 TALF Newsletter. Click to download the whole issue.

» Click to learn more about the Distinguished Speaker Series.

Dr. Milton Davenport, III, ’97, is an outstanding example of a Thornton graduate who, through his focus and hard work, is in control of his own destiny. “KIP was a big theme when when I was at Thornton,” Milton told the students, but he said he really didn’t realize the significance of what the motto meant until he went to college and then on to dental school.

As a result of his dedicated effort and his commitment to succeed, Milton was able to open his own dental practice in downtown Chicago before he was 30. And he’s in the process of opening another practice in Hyde Park.

Bob Perkins, ’58 (and 2010 Thornton Hall of Fame inductee) is a previous participant in the Distinguished Speaker Series, and in response to requests from students, Bob agreed to come speak again.

He brought with him a younger colleague, Arlen Wiley, a 1998 graduate of Bogan High School. Although Arlen wasn’t aware of Thornton’s motto, he spoke to its central importance when he told the students, “Education is the key to open all career and life opportunities.” Bob later provided the students with a dramatic example of what the power of knowledge can achieve when he told them that his company went from managing $37 million in 1980, when he started the company, to currently managing $18 billion.

Though from different career fields and from different generations, these Thornton alumni all attest to the enduring significance of Thornton’s great motto, Knowledge Is Power!