John Ketcham ranks among Wesleyan’s greatest swimmers. Specializing in the backstroke and individual medley, he won eight New England titles and was a three-time All-American. In a prolific junior year (1968-69) he won New England and NCAA College Division championships in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley, setting New England records in all three events. Shortly thereafter, he went on to place fourth in the NCAA University Division 100 backstroke and 10th in the 200 backstroke.
John set his first New England records as a sophomore (1967-68) and qualified for the NCAA University Division championships where he placed fourth in the 100 backstroke for the first time. That qualified him to participate in the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials. In 1968-69, John won the Muir Award as top senior swimmer in New England, when he again took three titles in record time.
John led Wesleyan to three consecutive 9-1 campaigns with Little Three titles in 1967-68 and 1968-69. He earned the McCurdy Award as Wesleyan’s top swimmer, and was named an NCAA All-American from 1968 to 1970.
John was from Westfield, N.J., already part of an athletic Wesleyan family. His brother Mike captained the 1966-67 Cardinal swimmers and his father Frank ’36 was a football captain.
John earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business where he won an Arthur Anderson Scholarship for Accounting Excellence. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1975 and worked for Price Waterhouse in New York for four years, and for Kellwood Inc. in Hong Kong from 1978-1980. He worked longest with the firm of Ketcham and Ketcham, CPA, in Westfield NJ. John was active with the YMCA and in international affairs, particularly Hong Kong.
Regrettably, John passed away in 2006, short of his 60th birthday.