Fall 2011 TRINITY Magazine Chicago
Arthur Bishop ’75 and Dennus Bishop ’00
Majors: Sociology and Psychology (respectively)
Title: Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (Arthur)
Special agent with the United States Secret Service (Dennus)
“If you asked me back in 1971 how I ended up at Trinity, my answer would have been completely different from the answer I am able to give you today,” said Arthur Bishop ’75.
“I remember being so impressed with the state-of-the-art Mitchell Memorial gym,” said Arthur. “Back then I would have told you I ended up at Trinity because of basketball. Today I can tell you that I attended Trinity Christian College as a result of God’s divine plan.”
Arthur played basketball for the College for four years. More important, he discovered an early call on his heart to help others, a call that led him to major in sociology.
With a master’s in human services administration from Spertus College and a long career history in social services, Arthur was appointed to his current director role in 2010 by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Arthur is responsible for more than 3,000 youth currently incarcerated or on parole status, eight facilities across Illinois, 1,200 employees, and a budget of $119 million for FY ’12.
He said the Christian foundation he received from the aunt who raised him and the principles he learned at Trinity have served him well. “God has blessed me with the gift of ministry and the gift of counseling. I have always wanted to help those who, for whatever reason, found themselves helpless, and it has given me great joy to serve my Savior in the field of social work.”
Looking back, Arthur can also see how his Trinity history, his passion for helping others, and his love for God affected the journey of his son, Dennus Bishop ’00. Dennus, a special agent with the United States Secret Service, followed a similar educational, spiritual, and professional path.
“The majority of the things I have done have been following the example of my dad, even in attending Trinity,” said Dennus, who, as a high school sophomore coming to alumni basketball games with Arthur, never thought he would enroll as a student.
After graduating from Walther Lutheran High School in Melrose Park in 1996, Dennus enrolled at Trinity and, like his father, joined the men’s basketball team, reestablishing contact with players he had competed against while in high school. “We came in 1996 from totally different backgrounds and stood there sizing each other up,” said Dennus of the teammates that he still calls friends today. “I learned so much from them. We were literally a brotherhood.”
In addition to a shared love of basketball, Dennus, who has served as the assistant varsity basketball coach at Walther for 12 years, has always shared his father’s love for helping others. “I watched Dad work in the field of social work for years, and I love working with people and with people in need.”
Dennus went on to pursue his master of social work at the Jane Addams College of Social Work—University of Illinois at Chicago and entered what he calls the “front lines” of social work. Prior to his current position as a special agent, he served as a child protection investigator with the Department of Children and Family Services.
Father and son still enjoy visiting Trinity to watch and participate in the alumni basketball games and reconnect with fellow alumni.