The meaning of success

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gary Petrucci ’65

Gary Petrucci ’65

Gary and Maureen (Carter) Petrucci, both ’65, met in the Greek Week parade in 1963. Gary (Tau Kappa Epsilon) was driving a convertible “with some queen in the back,” as he recalls. Maureen (Sigma Sigma Sigma) and her sorority sisters were marching in cowgirl costumes. Gary dared Maureen to “shoot” him with her squirt gun, and, well 47 years and two children later, they’re still laughing about it.

Since then they’ve experienced extraordinary professional, financial and personal success, much of which has roots at St. Cloud State. Foremost among these successes, they say, are their two grown daughters, Jane, a computer engineer, and Kathryn, a veterinarian who is founding a company to treat animals using stem cell technology. “Even though I’ve been successful in a lot of things,” explains Gary, “the most important thing is the legacy of your children.”

By any other measure, too, Gary is a success: He was recognized as the top-producing investment executive at Piper Jaffray so many times that they renamed the award in his honor. Currently senior vice president of investments for RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets Corporation, he also owns Apple Crest Farms, a 1,200-tree apple orchard in Medina, and has co-founded several companies, including Minnesota-based Cardiovascular Systems, which has a device to clean calcified deposits from arteries. He serves on a number of additional boards, including the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, America’s Neck and Back Clinics, the National Urology Board and Stemedia, which provides adult stem-cell treatments that Gary believes will change the future of medicine and are being used to successfully treat conditions such as Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, strokes and macular degeneration.

In 1998, the Petruccis made a gift to support construction of the Miller Learning Resources Center, even though Gary laughingly claims that he didn’t spend much time in the old library in Centennial Hall as a student. He’s paid attention to that older building since then, however, donating $60,000 to help fund the building’s renovation to create new quarters for the Herberger College of Business as well as other departments and student service offices.

In 2004, the University honored Gary, a past member of the St. Cloud State University Foundation Board of Directors, with the Distinguished Alumni Award. “Receiving that award was a real honor,” says Gary. “To be singled out among all the people who have graduated it’s like a needle in a haystack!”

- Kara Rose

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