In a packed Muelder Reading Room on Friday, Oct. 14, President Teresa Amott announced to a group of the President’s Circle donors two gifts for Alumni Hall, including one gift from Gerald and Carol Vovis, ’65, totaling $1.5 million.
“This idea that [the founders] had — this vision — was the first transformative gift to Knox: the gift of an idea. And since then, there have been many others that have given us transformative gifts, too many to tell their stories here,” Amott said.
While Amott was speaking about the work of former College President Roger Taylor, ’63 and his wife Anne Taylor, ’63, she was able to announce two more transformative gifts Friday night totaling $2 million.
“Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce another transformational gift that will have a truly profound impact on the campus and the Galesburg Community,” Amott said.
Amott’s announcement caught many in the room by surprise and Amott believes the donations will be a great kick-start toward her goal of completing Alumni Hall in the next 18 months.
“In their honor we will name one of our signature programs, the Center for Research and Advanced Study, now located in Old Main, the Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study,” Amott said. The center will relocate to Alumni Hall after its renovation.
“Our years at Knox were a life changing experience for both of us,” Gerald Vovis said. “We were able to attend Knox and graduate from it because of others that made financial contribution to Knox … Carol and I cannot think of a better way to give back to Knox than to contribute to the rebuilding of Alumni Hall which will become the gateway to Knox College.”
While Vovis made his fortune in the biotech industry, he still remained grounded to his roots at Knox College, being a member of The Board of Trustees since 2001 as well as giving gifts in the past.
“I was a graduate with a liberal arts background — and hence — was prepared to adapt to change,” Vovis said.
Carol Vovis also kept her Knox roots in mind by being the president of the New York Knox Club.
Richard A., ’57, and Joan Whitney Whitcomb, ’56, were the other major two donors announced Friday. The two donated $500,000 for the renovation bringing the total donations for the renovations up around $3 million so far.
The Whitcombs were unable to be in attendance to the President’s Circle event. Carol Vovis was also unable to attend.
All four alumni join the Ellen Browning Scripps Society, which recognizes donors who have given more than $1 million in their lifetime, following their donations.