Sister Putnam

Joy Cho '25 and King David Buckle '26

On November 9, 2023, Newton College alumnae, friends, and family gathered to celebrate the naming of the Putnam Conference Room in honor of beloved mentor, artist, and professor Carol Putnam, RSCJ, H’92. The dedication was the result of a collective effort by alumnae who, inspired by her life of extraordinary selflessness, spearheaded a drive to name a space that will live in the memory and spirit of Sister Putnam forever.

Sister Putnam was a professor at Newton College of the Sacred Heart from 1959 to 1967—where she taught courses in ceramics, drawing, art history, and philosophy of art—and chair of the art department. She later served on the Urban Task Force of the Archdiocese of Boston, which initiated her work with immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers in California and Florida. She advocated for education, not as a privilege, but as the right of all individuals, regardless of race, culture, or background. Her outlook on equality inspired her to establish the first full-time school in the country for migrant children, called the Hope Rural School, located in Indiantown, Florida. When Sister Putnam died in 1993, she left behind a legacy of compassion, equality, and unconditional love for others. 

Located in the University Conference Center adjacent to the McMullen Museum of Art, the Putnam Conference Room is filled with artwork featuring prominent religious figures, most of whom are women. It is only fitting that this space be dedicated to the enduring legacy of Sister Putnam, a remarkable individual whose profound academic achievements and artistic talents seamlessly merged with a life devoted to service, driven by a noble humanitarian mission. In her honor, a plaque in the room is adorned with the following inscription: Putnam Conference Room is named in honor of Carol Putnam RSCJ H ’92 for advancing the study of art at Newton College, her boundless creative spirit, and her commitment to social justice.

Joy Cho '25 and King David Buckle '26


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