At 92, Kenneth Whitfield is as clever and spry as ever. He can remember first reading about Alice Lloyd College in the Sunday edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal and saw Ms. Lloyd’s appearance on “This is Your Life” with Ralph Edwards. After hearing the message of the school, Kenneth asserts that anyone with a heart would want to give to Alice Lloyd College. He relates to the kids who, like him, weren’t exactly born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Kenneth was born in Illinois to two Kentucky natives in 1925. His parents decided that the price of land was too high in Illinois, so they moved back to Kentucky to buy the farm he would be raised on in 1927. His father passed away when he was only six and a half years old, but his mother remarried a gentleman from Kansas. Before being swept off to the mid-west, Kenneth spent his grade school years in a one-room schoolhouse, where he says, “We didn’t have the luxury of electricity or plumbing there… and I’m proud for people to know that.” Kenneth graduated from Baldwin High School in 1943 and went to work at Sheffield Steel until 1945.
Kenneth originally considered joining the army at this time, but life had other plans. Instead, he decided to reconnect with his Kentucky roots by taking over his Uncle’s General Store in LaRue County, Kentucky. Kenneth ran the general store for three years before deciding to return to factory work. He successfully sold the store and worked in the sour cream division of Beatrice Foods for four years afterward. After that, he took a sales job with WR Grace – Fertilizer Division where he worked until his retirement, 35+ years later.
It was in 1954 that Kenneth finally followed his heart and joined the army. He was stationed in Germany for eighteen months and was immediately married upon discharge. Kenneth can remember that he and his wife, Elizabeth, only had $500 to their names when they got married, but in his words, all they needed were “the smiles on [our] faces.”
Kenneth has given to ALC for a number of years and visited campus in 1988. He is also heavily involved in his church, and his wife, Elizabeth, was on the board of trustees at Lindsey Wilson College. While she spent her career as a secretary, Kenneth encouraged her to give that up later in life in order to stay at home and “supervise” him. He claims that he needs “constant supervision.” Elizabeth passed in December of 2013.
Kenneth now spends his days at a retirement facility in Bowling Green, KY where he keeps up with family and news from ALC regularly. He says he loves giving to ALC because, in his words, “they can stretch a dollar further than anyone.” His continued commitment to our school and to the Purpose Road philosophy reminds us that here in the 21st century, people still remember the wise words of Alice Lloyd: “The Leaders are here.”