A talented high school athlete from Springfield, Illinois, Alonzo H. Kenniebrew earned a football scholarship to Carthage College when it was still located in Carthage, Illinois.
Graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry, Kenniebrew lettered in football, track, basketball, and boxing. These achievements, plus All-Conference performance in both football and track, were recognized when he was among the first-ever inductees into the Carthage College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.
His presence on campus was larger than athletics, however. Alonzo dedicated every one of his years at Carthage to serving on the Student Council as a voice for betterment and change. Additionally, he served as Vice Chair of the Circle K Club (Campus Kiwanis) and as Senior Class President. His outstanding record of achievement, scholarship, and athletics earned him recognition in Who’s Who of College Students and the Springfield NAACP’s Webster Plaque.
Inspired by his father’s medical practice and the family dedication to always improving, Alonzo earned a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign after returning from service in the Korean conflict. From 1959 to 1968, he worked in allergy research at Northwestern University and then in tuberculosis vaccine research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was credited for clinical research in developing the tuberculosis preventative BCG vaccine with Dr. Sal Rosenthal MD, PhD, and spent the larger part of his career in long-term healthcare and nursing home administration in Chicago and Peoria, Illinois.
Carthage has become a family legacy for Mr. Kenniebrew’s heirs. His daughter, Ashley Kenniebrew Easterwood, graduated from Carthage in 2008 and his granddaughter, Tiffany Davis Gutierrez, graduated from Carthage in 2007.