Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

The Panton Family

River Forest, Illinois
Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary
– Residency Alumni

From Left: Dr. John H. Panton, Mary Karakourtis Panton, Dr. Elizabeth Panton Karkazis, Dr. Robert W. Panton and Dr. Peter J. Panton

Mary Karakourtis Panton would often tell her children that “Excellence is permanent.” This was how she paraphrased her husband, who was fond of quoting Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The success of the Panton Eye Center and the family’s history of giving to the Department of Ophthalmology suggest they took heradvice to heart. Dr. John Panton speaks warmly of the doctors who trained him,in particular Dr. William F. Hughes and Dr. Peter C. Kronfeld. Pointing to the facility in which he and his children have practiced for the past 20 years, he said, “All that we have here, all that we do here, is because of the good teachers at the Infirmary.”

“You want to give back to the institutions that made your success possible,” said Dr. Peter Panton. “We want to help the place where we learned ophthalmology.”

The Panton family’s history of giving to the Department of Ophthalmology dates back to the 1980s when they contributed to the effort to build the Lions of Illinois Eye Research Institute. In the past decade, they contributed to endowed professorships for Drs. Morton F. Goldberg, Joel Sugar and Jacob T. Wilensky. In 2007, Peter and Robert Panton joined with the children of Arnold D. Curnyn, MD, Res ’65 (Kimberlee M. Curnyn, MD, Res ’95), the late Harold Q. Kirk, MD, Res ’53 (Ann Kirk Williams, MD, Res ’87 and her husband Douglas P. Williams, MD, Res ’87), and Karl E. Ticho, MD, Res ’57 (Benjamin H. Ticho, MD, Res ‘91), to establish the Four Fathers Lecture in Ophthalmology.

The Panton family also established a professorship in Modern Greek Studies at UIC. They have given generously to the National Hellenic Museum, located near UIC in Chicago’s Greektown.

“We are so grateful to the Panton family for their generosity as loyal alumni of the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary,” says Dr. Rohit Varma, Department Chair.