Karen Kelso, C’85, left her mark as one of the Red and Blue’s most decorated and accomplished women’s squash players. In addition to numerous Ivy League and tournament accolades, Kelso went on to enjoy an exceptional international squash career after graduating.


Kelso made an impact from the first time she walked into Ringe Courts. She won the Princeton Invitational as a freshman, en route to earning the first of her four first-team All-Ivy League nods—the first of only four Quakers to achieve that status to date. Kelso earned first-team All-America recognition in 1984-85 as a senior.


Twice a finalist for the individual title at the National Intercollegiate Championships, she also finished seventh at the 1983 USSRA Nationals. Kelso was named team co-MVP in 1984 and captained the 1985 team. An accomplished athlete, Kelso also played two years of field hockey at Penn.


In addition to her Penn career, Kelso also had great international success. She competed in two Junior World events and five USA Team World Championships. She was a member of seven national teams, playing around the globe at competitions in Canada, England, Ireland, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina and the Isle of Guernsey.


At the top of her game, Kelso was ranked first in the nation in women’s doubles, second in hardball squash, third in softball squash, and 27th in the world WISPA rankings. Kelso is still actively involved in the squash world as a club professional and a competitive player. She currently resides with her daughter Sandy in Evergreen, Colo.