Winthrop Alumni Association Welcomes Its First African-American President

July 18, 2019


  • Putman has a background in mass communication and is a producer for the Carolina Panthers Radio Network
  • He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and active with the Rock Hill chapter
  • He and his wife, Chisa Johnson Putman ’03, reside in Rock Hill with their three children

byron putmanROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Having served the Winthrop University alumni community in various leadership roles for seven years, Byron Putman ’94 is now marking a historic milestone as the first African-American president of the Winthrop Alumni Association’s Executive Board.

"It is truly an honor to be elected the president of the alumni board and very humbling to be the first black president of the alumni board,” Putman said.

He believes a diverse executive board is critical in helping alumni leaders become more aware of and better equipped to tackle sensitive issues.

“The diversity of our leadership gives us a broader knowledge base to hopefully make great decisions,” Putman said.

Over the past two years, he has served as president-elect of the Alumni Executive Board. As president of the Alumni Executive Board and Winthrop Alumni Association, Putman has the unique opportunity to act as a champion for fellow alumni and further engage a network of 60,000 Winthrop graduates.  

“I see it as an opportunity to extend an invitation to come home to any of our alumni who may have been detached from Winthrop," he said.

Putman also will serve as one of the primary advocates for Winthrop and the Alumni Association; preside at all meetings of the Alumni Executive Board; represent the Alumni Association at Commencements, Convocations, inaugurations and other special events. He also will work with the board to provide input on university initiatives, programs, infrastructure and concerns, and help establish priorities for future programs.

"My hope is to encourage alumni engagement and donations to the university,” he added. Putman wants to emphasize to alumni that engagement with the university can manifest itself in a number of ways. “Whether it’s financial donations, hiring Winthrop graduates, giving students internship opportunities and/or joining a board; we need for all alumni to interact with the university.”

Putman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication and a speech minor. As a student at Winthrop, he was a member of the then-Dinkins Student Union, the Resident Students’ Association, The Johnsonian, the radio station and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.  He is now a producer for the Carolina Panthers Radio Network. He and his wife, Chisa Johnson Putman ’03, reside in Rock Hill with their three children.

“I am thrilled to work with Byron as president of the Alumni Executive Board,” said Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Reunion Giving Lori Tuttle. “We have worked closely together over the past two years in his role as president-elect and he will be a fantastic advocate for his fellow alumni as president.”

The Alumni Executive Board is composed of Alumni Association officers, members-at-large and ex-officio, non-voting members. Officers fulfill a two-year term that begins July 1 and concludes June 30.  

For more information about the Alumni Executive Board and its leadership, visit

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