B. Kenneth West received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1960.
His distinguished career at Harris spanned three decades. He began in 1957 as an investment analyst, joined the bank's new charge card division in 1967, and became head of corporate financial services in 1969. Shortly after being named deputy group executive in international banking and senior vice president in 1972, he was promoted to head of international banking in 1973. In 1977, he became head of the banking department and executive vice president. He was elected to the Harris board of directors in 1979, becoming president of the bank in 1980 and chairman in 1984.
West's record of community service exhibited the same energy and determination that characterized his professional life. He was a director of the University of Illinois Foundation, a life trustee of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, and a governor of the board of the Chicago Orchestral Association. Particularly active in support of education, West was named the 11th chairman of the University of Chicago board of trustees in 1985, and in December of 1988, the University of Chicago awarded him the honorary degree of doctor of law.