A St. Lawrence Family
Every Laurentian wedding is another addition to family trees that, in every season, remain scarlet and brown.
“After six years at an all-girls school in California, the idea of going to hockey games amazed me.”
Carolyn Davidow Putney ’88, P’22 wanted a traditional college experience in the Northeast. She became interested in hockey after a miracle happened not too far from St. Lawrence.
“The U.S. hockey team won gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid,” she said, “and, after spending a lot of my free time in high school riding, I wanted to attend a university with a top-notch equestrian team.”
St. Lawrence, then, was a good match. While earning her degree, she met another: Stewart Putney ’91, P’22.
“I had no reason not to attend St. Lawrence,” Stewart says. “The University had a reputation for strong academics. My older sister was already a student. I had a great experience visiting her on campus. Her friends were great, and it was clear she really liked it. The best part of my undergraduate experience was finding my amazing wife.”
Now, their son Sam ’22 is a St. Lawrence student, too.
“It’s such fun to hear him enjoying parallel experiences,” Carolyn says. “Great friends, winter weather, a real sense of community. We’ve all had classes in the same buildings, lived in the same dorms, and even ordered the same pizza. Sam is seeing the power of the St. Lawrence magic.”
That magic includes the important things often associated with home and family: the challenges, rewards, comforts, and connections. New Laurentian family members are drawn to this place and they forge strong, enduring bonds. This happens at other schools, as well, but St. Lawrence connections — between faculty, students, parents, and alumni — are remarkably durable. It’s been noticed nationally, as our alumni network is ranked one of the best in the U.S., year after year. These connections shape careers, lifetimes, and, in families like the Putneys, generations.
How? Stewart Putney thinks it’s a matter of Laurentians shaping each other within a unique campus community.
“Attending St. Lawrence is a little like living on a boat,” he says. “You have to figure out how to coexist with everyone. When you look at the University through that lens, it’s not hard to figure out why we have such a strong network.”
Carolyn agrees. “No matter our backgrounds we share this collective experience that is quite unique. Just about every facet of life at St. Lawrence brings us together, our classes and teachers, the weather, the places we live on campus. We work, laugh, and talk through all of it. This hasn’t changed. It’s intergenerational. Laurentians grow to appreciate each other. It’s one reason we’re proud of this school we can all call home.”
For the Putneys, taking care of this home has become a tradition.
“We’ve been giving to St. Lawrence since we graduated,” Carolyn says. “It’s been a wonderful way to support a school you believe in and a way to honor our personal and family ties.”
There are a lot of family ties for the Putneys. In addition to Stewart’s sister, Tina Putney Mackler ’89, Carolyn’s sister, Becky Davidow Logan, graduated in the class of ’93. Becky married Andy Logan, who graduated in 1992.
Stewart adds, “The community that we became a part of as students has continued as alumni and donors. St. Lawrence has always been a wonderful steward of our gifts, so appreciative and responsible.”
This is one of the reasons behind Carolyn and Stewart’s contributions to the St. Lawrence Fund, which fuels students’ ambitions in real time, provides resources for new and emerging projects, special services, and unique opportunities as they arise. This annual fund also helps the University meet pressing needs, while ensuring that our priorities are funded annually.
The Putneys noticed that this fund kept playing a major role across campus.
“It has been amazing watching the University continue to grow and change with the demands of our times,” Stewart says, “from an improved physical plant to thought-provoking conversations about academic structure. As St. Lawrence continues to develop, the St. Lawrence Fund has proven itself as a main engine of this growth and innovation.”
Carolyn says she’s seen how the St. Lawrence Fund supports faculty and staff as they work with students.
“The beauty of St. Lawrence is the love and attention given to these young adults, understanding they are works in progress, and providing them with the tools and structures to continue their upward trajectory. That’s family. That’s what family does. And unrestricted gifts allow St. Lawrence to decide the best way to continue doing this important work.”
Giving to the St. Lawrence Fund is a priority of The Campaign for Every Laurentian. As the University’s annual fund, it allows everyone to make a gift that will have a profound impact on the University, students, and every Laurentian.