George Henry Ketterer (1880-1958)

George Henry Ketterer, 1937

Born on February 21, 1880 in Somerton, Pennsylvania, George Henry Ketterer attended Dickinson Preparatory School before enrolling in the College in 1904. After graduating from Dickinson with a B.A. degree in 1908, he attended Drew Theological Seminary, where he received a M.A. degree in 1912. Following graduation, he served as a pastor for various churches in Newark, Philadelphia, and throughout Central Pennsylvania, finally settling in Warrior's Mark, Pennsylvania. It was here that Ketterer met Bertha Hutchison Curry, and on November 15, 1916, the two were married.

When the United States became involved in World War I in 1917, Ketterer enrolled in Chaplain's School at Camp Taylor, Kentucky. Upon graduation, he was transferred to Camp Meade, Maryland for active duty and served as a First Lieutenant and Chaplain. After the War, he returned to his work as a pastor, an occupation he continued until 1935. From 1935 until 1940, he served as superintendent of the Altoona School District.

In 1936, Ketterer received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Dickinson, where he regularly attended commencement. He also served on the Board of Trustees at Dickinson from 1937 to 1958 and as Secretary of the Board from 1954 to 1958. In 1949, he and his wife donated $30,000 ($25,000 in bonds and $5,000 in cash) to Dickinson in order to endow the George Henry Ketterer and Bertha Curry Ketterer Chair of Religion, an endowment that was completed with a supplemental gift in 1951.

In his later life, Ketterer was involved in various organizations throughout Central Pennsylvania. Not only was he a lifelong member of the Kappa Sigma and Phi Alpha fraternities, but he was also a Mason, a member of the Kiwanis Club, president of the Milton Rotary Club, director of the Methodist Home for the Aged in Tyrone, and both director and trustee of the Wesley Foundation in State College. On February 6, 1958, Ketterer died at the Altoona Hospital. He is buried at the Methodist Church in Warrior's Mark.

Author of Post: 
Dickinson College Archives
Date of Post: 
Alumnus/Alumna Class Year: 
Trustee - Years of Service: 
Honorary Degree - Year: