Boston University School of Law

February 27, 2007


Equal Rights Crusader Glendora Putnam (’48) Honored as Living Legend by the Museum of African American History

Glendora McIlwain Putnam (‘48) was presented the Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin Lifetime Achievement Award by the Museum of African American History at its 200th Anniversary Living Legends Award Gala. The gala, held at the African Meeting House on March 2, featured honorary chairman Governor Deval Patrick.

At the start of her career, Putnam served as assistant attorney general for civil rights in Massachusetts before serving as chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. She extended her work, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., and as an equal opportunity officer for the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency.

Putnam has served in leadership positions for many non-profit organizations. She was national president of the YWCA, an organization whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. In the spirit of this mission, Putnam also served as chair of the board of trustees at Bennett College, an historically-black college for women in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa as a representative of the YWCA of the USA, Bennett College and the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights.

Currently, Putnam sits on the board of trustees for the YWCA Retirement Fund, Inc. and the Museum of African American History at Boston, as well as the New England Committee for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the board of directors for the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and the executive committee for the Boston University Law School Alumni Association.

She has previously been honored with such accolades as "Woman of the Year" by the Greater Boston Business and Professional Women’s club, "Woman of Achievement" by Boston Big Sisters,"Outstanding Senior Lawyer" by the Women’s Bar Association, a Humanitarian Award from the NAACP (Boston branch), a "Black Women Who Make It Happen" award by the National Council of Negro Women, a "Silver Shingle for Distinguished Public Service" award by BU Law and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.

Museum of African American History Event Infomation

Reported by Jane Coulter
Photo Source: (c) copyright, 2007 The Valley Patriot