The Gateway to Greatness

Jerry Karver

Gerald “Jerry” T. Karver a Boyertown native was a premier long distance runner in the nation, with an astonishing career. Jerry graduated from Boyertown Area High School and participated in Cross Country and Track from 1937-1941. During his time at Boyertown Area High School Jerry set several records including state titles in the mile, half mile and cross country in two consecutive years, setting records in all three events. He also led Boyertown High School distance medley relay team to victory in the Championship of America at the 1941 Penn Relays. After graduating from High School Jerry continued to set records winning the two time NCAA champion at Penn State and winning all major collegiate titles in the mile, the IC4A, NCAA and NAAU in 1947. In 1948 Jerry became a member of the U.S. Olympic team.

Jerry continued to distinguish himself well beyond his athletics as a WWII veteran, a Boyertown business owner and a great supporter of community organizations. Jerry was a mentor and an inspiration for generations of track teams and all athletes. He lived his entire life with zest, love and compassion, approaching each day with a bright outlook. “He had Heart!” Jerry Passed away on August 1, 2016, after collapsing on the very track he had loved with such fever. The Boyertown High School Track will now be dedicated to his name and legacy.

About the Gateway to Greatness

The Memorial Stadium at the Boyertown Area Senior High School was re-constructed in 1986. With major support by the Boyertown Area Education Association, the original cinder track was rebuilt at that time. The All Weather Tract of today was the work of the “Victory Mile Committee.” Sponsored by the Wellness Council of Boyertown, co-chairs Don Grim, Jerry Karver and Barb Furman worked with the Community, raising over $400,000 to fund the work! The new tract was dedicated in October of 2006.

The Gateway to Greatness project seeks to honor distinguished alumni Gerald Karver for his achievements as an athlete, and as a long-time community leader and mentor, but also to inspire generations of athletes to come!

This beautiful gateway and wall will  replace approximately 80 feet of existing fencing near the track’s Start/Finish line, complimenting the design of the existing grandstand. “Story plaques” along the wall will tell Jerry’s story, and future plaques will honor other great Boyertown achievements! The Wellness Council of Boyertown is sponsoring the Gateway and the design and project management has been graciously offered by alumnus Dave Horn and his company, Architerra, pc.

Your Support is Needed!

Donations are still needed to make the Gateway to Greatness a reality! Gifts made through the Wellness Council, a 501 (c)3 charitable organization, are tax deductible. For more information go to