|Membership level: Hall of Fame
Inductee Year 2012
|Sandra Bucha Kerscher '72 is being honored for her achievements as both an athlete and citizen. Donna Lopiano, Ph.D., former president of the Women's Sports Foundation says, "Between 1973 and 1975, Sandra was the female winner in the nine professional marathon races she entered. At that time, marathon swimming was a single gender sport. During her professional marathon swimming career, no female was able to challenge her title as the #1 marathon swimmer in the world. Only three males finished ahead of her in nine marathon races. As a principal in a successful lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association, this legal action resulted in the initiation of girls' sports programs and state interscholastic championships for girls in the State of Illinois. Her actions as a social justice advocate affected the opportunities of thousands of girls to participate in swimming and other sports. The energy and enthusiasm she brought to her swimming career and initial social justice efforts continued as she graduated from Stanford University with honors as an undergraduate and earned her Doctor of Law degree at Indiana University. Her career as a champion athlete and record as a conscientious citizen have been exemplary."
At the age of 10, Sandy began swimming for the Hinsdale Swim Club, where her times soon qualified her to compete in national competitions. Legendary Hinsdale Central swimming coach Don Watson offered Sandy the opportunity to swim with the boys team, as there was no girls team available at the time. She retired from amateur swimming when she enrolled at Stanford, which also had no women's team. Instead she found her way to professional marathon swimming competing in several major races on the Great Lakes, using her prize money to pay for college.
Sandy received her B.A. in History, with distinction, from Stanford in 1976 and her J.D. from Indiana University in 1979. A former prosecutor and public defender, Bucha focuses on personal injury and criminal and medical malpractice litigation. She and her husband John Kerscher make their home in Apollo Beach, Florida.