Bert was introduced early to coaches, teachers and managers that guided him to set goals and how to achieve them. In the 1950s Beaver Falls had one of the best sports programs in America and a history of dedicated coaches that cultivated a culture of attributes that inspired and empowered lifelong achievements.
Bert’s learning to be part of a team began as early as Little League Baseball where he first joined Joe Namath on the baseball diamond (Beaver Falls Elks Team) and also on his 8th grade football team.
In 1960 Bert and Joe again joined the Beaver Falls high school football team (coached by Larry Bruno) where Bert was fullback to future hall of fame quarterback Joe Willie Namath. Together with their teammates they won the W.P.I.A.L. Championship. Recently, the 1960 BFHS football team was named by the WPIAL Hall of Fame as one of top 3 high school football teams of all time.
While in high school Bert was a standout high jumper for the high school track and field team (9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades). His win in the high jump (as a freshman) won the county wide meet for his team and his coach (Tony Meta). Bert’s winning ways continued when his senior year’s football team went 10 and 0, where he shared the spotlight with his teammates which included Butch Ryan.
After high school graduation he played football 4 years at Princeton University where he led the Tigers to a 17 and 1 record his junior and senior year. After his graduation from Princeton (He graduated in 1966 with honors in philosophy) he attended Yale University and graduated with his law degree.
Bert’s career continued on a winning course where he guided his company Calico Corners (see picture below) to become a nationally recognized company in customized home furnishing and home design.
Bert’s success in business has enabled him to give back to his alma mater by sponsoring academic scholarships to high school students at his Beaver Falls High School.
In 2003 Bert awarded the “Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professorship” to Anne-Marie Slaughter. Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and professor of politics and international affairs, was named the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs.
The newly endowed chair, which honors excellence in teaching, research and scholarship, was established by a gift from Bert G. Kerstetter, who graduated from Princeton in 1966 with a degree in philosophy.
Scholar athlete …being part of something that is greater than yourself.
“Regardless of my world class professors, no one held me to higher standards of excellence than my coaches. My adaptation to such circumstances may have been the greatest lesson of my life. A laboratory about “excellence” that has also been priceless for the past 40-45 years. Reading and reacting to patterns in life are critical skills. The University does not offer such a course. Athletics does!”
– Bert Kerstetter