• Jesse Ketchum Medal


     Jesse Ketchum Medal


    About Jesse Ketchum:

    Jesse Ketchum was born in Spencertown, New York, a small town in Columbia County, southeast of Troy. In 1804, Ketchum moved to Ontario, Canada to work in the tanning business with his brothers. Jesse became a Canadian citizen and served in the Canadian Militia during the War of 1812. He and his brothers prospered in the tannery business and in real estate after the war. In 1815, the Ketchum family expanded their tannery business to Buffalo, New York. Jesse spent the next 30 years of his life predominantly in Canada, although he was a frequent visitor to the Buffalo.


    Jesse Ketchum  


    At the age of 63, Jesse Ketchum moved to Buffalo where he acquired extensive land holdings in the Black Rock, Downtown, and South Park areas of the City. Throughout his life, education and religious values were his primary interests. Jesse was instrumental in the founding of the Buffalo Medical School, which was the start of the University of Buffalo. Ketchum was directly responsible for the building of three schools in the City of Buffalo. He donated five acres of land and built a row of brick school buildings, which eventually became the first teacher training center in Buffalo. International Preparatory High School, now occupies this site. He also founded Westminster Presbyterian Church on Delaware Avenue.



    A memorial fund in his honor was established by his son-in-law, Barnabas Brennan, to provide medals and certificates to the “top students in the Buffalo Schools.” Over 15,000 students have been honored for their academic excellence through the legacy of Jesse Ketchum.


    On the back of every Jesse Ketchum medal is the Latin phrase “Dedit Deus Disciplinam” which translates as “to surrender through God through learning”.  

    -Austin Fox, Buffalo Historian



    The Buffalo Public Schools and the Office of CLRI congratulate the 2022 Jesse Ketchum Awardees.


    Gold Medal Winner 2022:

    Semiah Balazadeh (from School #81)


    Silver Medal Winner 2022:

    Rasni Ullah (from Community School #53)