July 16, 2012
On July 1, 2012, Knox College welcomed new leadership to its Board of Trustees.
Dushan (Duke) Petrovich '74, retired president of William Wrigley, Jr. Company, is the new chair of the Board of Trustees. Petrovich succeeds Janet Koran '71, who completed a six-year term as Board chair on June 30. Gerald (Jerry) Vovis '65, a former biotechnology executive, is the Board's new chair for finance. Vovis succeeds Ralph Walter, who led the Board's finance committee for the past six years.
"With the installation of President Teresa Amott last May, Knox is entering a new phase in its history, and both Duke and Jerry are ready to lead Knox at this momentous time. They have been actively engaged in working closely with Ralph and me since February, and they are fully prepared to take over these roles," Koran said.
Petrovich earned his bachelor's degree at Knox in economics, a master's degree in accounting at Roosevelt University and a certificate from the senior executive program at the University of Michigan. He joined the College's Board of Trustees in 2005.
A native of Chicago, Petrovich had a long and successful career at Wrigley, where, prior to his role as president, he served as senior vice president and chief administrative officer; senior vice president people, learning, and development; vice president-controller, and vice president-treasurer. He currently serves on the board of the Adler Planetarium and Roosevelt University and is a former board member of the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
Petrovich has been a generous supporter of his alma mater -- "Knox was life-changing for me," he says -- contributing to the Knox Fund, athletics, and the renovation of Alumni Hall. In 2008, he sponsored the Petrovich Challenge, which raised Knox's alumni giving rate to a record 36 percent. Petrovich and his wife, Nancy, live in Downers Grove, Illinois. Their son, Steven, is a 2006 Knox graduate.
Vovis has been a Knox College Trustee since 2010 and served as an Alumni Trustee from 2001 to 2005. A Chicago native, Vovis graduated magna cum laude from Knox, earning his bachelor's degree in chemistry, College Honors in biology, and election to Phi Beta Kappa. He received a Ph.D. in biology from Case Western Reserve University.
Formerly vice president and general manager and then corporate vice president of Advanced BioHealing, Inc., a regenerative medicine company, Vovis has two decades of executive management experience in the biotechnology industry. Early in his career, he was part of the team that cloned the gene responsible for bovine chymosin, the purified enzyme product of which is used today to manufacture cheese. He also managed a high throughput facility that sequenced 91 human genomes to discover genetic variations in more than 8,000 genes.
In 2011, Vovis and his wife, Carol Klail Vovis '65, who live in Cheshire, Connecticut, donated $1.5 million towards the renovation of Knox College's Alumni Hall, the future home of the Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study, which was named in their honor.