What's New for the Class of 2023?
We asked a group of graduates what their plans are moving forward.
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At its spring meeting, the Knox College Board of Trustees elected April J. Morgan, J.D. ’04 to a four-year alumni trustee term. Maurice “Mo” Harris ’08 also joins the board for a two-year term. The Board also voted Douglas Bayer ’66 and Gerald Vovis ’65 Trustee Emeriti in recognition of their long service on the Board of Trustees and many contributions to the College.
April J. Morgan, J.D. ’04
Morgan currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority Board, the governing arm of the second-largest transit agency in the U.S. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Morgan majored in political science and sociology at Knox, going on to earn a Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois University College of Law.
“The Knox experience is unlike any other. The College does an exceptional job of creating an environment that encourages students to pursue their interests and develop the skills to make their unique and impactful mark on the world,” she said. “Only at Knox could a student from the south suburbs of Chicago pursue law while also cultivating her interest in public policy, passion for civic engagement, and love for the arts and dance. Only at Knox could she be encouraged to conduct postgraduate level policy research, study in Washington D.C., and present a mock appellate argument before a federal judge, all before starting law school. My Knox experience was incredibly rich and diverse, and it shaped my perspective of the world and how I wanted to show up. I am honored by the opportunity to serve on the Board to ensure that all students are able to see themselves in the Knox experience so they are empowered to thrive on campus and beyond.”
Maurice “Mo” Harris ’08
Harris is the research manager for Transwestern Real Estate's Minneapolis office, where he conducts research to support economic development and recruitment, retention, and attraction of businesses to the Twin Cities. He is also a member of the Golden Valley, Minnesota City Council.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Harris graduated from Knox with a degree in political science and history and went on to earn a master’s in public affairs from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has served the College as an alumni mentor, an at-large member of the Alumni Council as well as chair of the Council, and a member of the Young Alumni Steering Committee. He is also a leader for the Twin Cities Knox Club and helps to plan alumni gatherings in the Cities.
“Knox College has provided me with the tools and experiences that have propelled my career and life to great places,” he said. “I am happy to serve the College as a member of the Board of Trustees to ensure that Knox students are able to have the same enriching experiences that I had."
“We are excited to welcome April and Mo to the Board,” said Tony Etz ’83, chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees. “April’s enthusiasm for the Knox experience, which shaped her outlook on the world, coupled with her expertise in law and policy, make her an ideal candidate to serve on our board. Mo’s expertise in market research and his appreciation for Knox make him an excellent addition. We’re grateful that April and Mo have joined us and look forward to learning more about their unique perspectives in the coming years.”
Douglas Bayer Ph.D. ’66
Doug Bayer joined the Board in 2008. While at Knox, he earned his bachelor's degree in physics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He later earned both master’s and doctoral degrees in nuclear physics from Michigan State University. His service on the Board includes chairing the admission and financial aid committee and membership on the academic affairs, advancement, and finance committees, as well as a presidential search committee.
Bayer, the retired director of Windows Security for Microsoft Corporation, is currently president of the Douglas and Maria Bayer Foundation, which supports the arts, education, and the environment. In 2008, he and his wife, Maria, endowed a new faculty position, the Doug and Maria Bayer Faculty Chair in Earth Sciences.
Gerald Vovis Ph.D. ’65
Jerry Vovis first joined the Board as an alumni trustee in 2001, then as a general trustee in 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and honors in biology, graduating magna cum laude, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in biology at Case Western Reserve University.
On the Board, Vovis served as chair of the finance committee and as a member of the advancement, facilities and infrastructure committees as well as the committee on trustees, the Alumni Hall Task Force and search committee for the chief financial officer.
Vovis currently serves as president and CEO of Vovis Enterprises and Vice President, Scientific Affairs for Modifi Biosciences, Inc. In 2011, he and his wife, Carol Klail Vovis ’66, made a lead gift for the renovation of Alumni Hall, and The Gerald & Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study was named in their honor.
"It is with the deepest gratitude that the Board of Trustees acknowledges the many valuable contributions made by Doug Bayer and Jerry Vovis to Knox College and its community," said Etz. "Doug and Jerry have provided wise counsel and leadership on the Board, and they have been generous donors to initiatives that have transformed the Knox campus and the lives of countless Knox students."
Published on July 19, 2023