The Kerr Cup
by Katelyn Wolfrom
On April 19, 2008, the Drexel University men’s crew team came in 1st place at the 51st annual Kerr Cup, a regatta with special ties to Drexel, as it is named in honor of the founder of the university’s crew team, Dr. Thomas Kerr. To commemorate his efforts and the fiftieth anniversary of the team he founded, the Drexel University archives takes a look back at Dr. Thomas Kerr.
Though it is considered one of the “classic” collegiate sports, Drexel University did not have an intercollegiate crew team until 1958, when it came into existence under the guidance of Drexel athletic physician Dr. Thomas Kerr. Dr. Kerr’s history proves a great passion for the sport, having rowed for his alma mater, Syracuse University, where he found a highly regarded mentor in Hall of Fame coach Jim Ten Eyck. After graduating, Kerr was an active member of the Penn AC rowing team in the thirties, and part of a national-championship winning 8-man team with this club.
Prior to coming to Drexel, Dr. Kerr coached freshmen crew for three years at Syracuse, and also spent a year coaching at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1967, his efforts were honored with the creation of the Dr. Thomas Kerr Regatta, which is held each year on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. In more recent years, this has been extended to include the Lela H. Kerr Cup, a competition for female crew teams.