To four decades of future CPAs and accounting majors enrolled in the Gies College of Business, one name stood above the rest.
“Everyone in our era that went to the school of business, studied accounting and wanted to be a CPA reveres Professor Kenneth Perry,” Edwardsville attorney Mark Goldenberg says.
“He was very intelligent, but had incredible common sense and practicality. He prepared every student of that era for the CPA exam and had an outstanding record of success.
“I was in Florida earlier this year near Tampa Bay and was out on a morning walk with my Illini garb. A gentleman walking in the other direction saw my colors and yelled out the iconic ‘Go Illini.’
“We talked and well, he went to Illinois and studied accounting and it took us all of about one minute to mention Professor Perry and how much we loved him.”
Goldenberg has two UI diplomas on his wall — one from Gies (Class of 1970), the other from the College of Law ('73), which honored him in 2019 with a distinguished alumni award.
It was during his pursuit of that second degree when Goldenberg got to know another late, great Illini legend — the UI‘s third chancellor and former law dean, John Cribbet.
“I was fortunate enough to have Dean Cribbet for Freshman Property. A great friend to this date that was also in Dean Cribbet’s property class said: ‘Dean Cribbet could read the Chicago phone book and we all would be mesmerized,’” Goldenberg says.
“He was that iconic. Sort of like Illinois’ version of 'Paper Chase' Professor Charles Kingsfield Jr., but oh so much more.
“As far as the Campustown spot I think about the most, it is hands down Kam’s. Not because it was a historic bar on the campus, but because I wanted to propose to my wife Bonnie of almost 49 years on her birthday.
“But, I have not received the true engagement ring. So, I had to suffice with a plastic one I got out of a gum vending machine. And, shortly after midnight in the wee morning of February 16, 1971, I proposed marriage to my awesome wife and she accepted.
“As the saying goes, the rest is history.”