Putnam Blodgett '53, '61Tu: Dartmouth Alumni Award Recipient, 2009-10
Put Blodgett '53, '61Tu (right) was presented the Dartmouth Alumni Award by Ralph Manuel '58, '59Tu during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Dartmouth Outing Club, December 2009.
Your time growing up on a dairy farm in Bradford, VT, had no lack of green influence from your father, Wentworth Put Blodgett '24, and uncle, Frederick Pete Blodgett '25. From the farm you even had a stunning view of the majestic Mt. Moosilauke that seemed to beckon -- small wonder that is exactly where you spent the last night of your Freshman Trip.
At Dartmouth, you harnessed your love of the outdoors, participating in the Dartmouth Outing Club Cabin & Trail, Ski Club Carcajou, Dartmouth skiing, and Woodsmen's Weekend. Indoors, you focused your energy on an economics major and as a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Back at the family dairy farm on the morning after graduation, you clearly proved your dedication and, after a stint at Tuck, became the successful owner and operator of the farm for 15 years. Deep appreciation for the values developed in the out-of-doors led you to found, own and direct a boys' wilderness camp for 21 years. Your avocation became your vocation, as you created and built a local condominium development and currently maintain 970 acres of Certified Tree Farm land in New Hampshire and Vermont that has earned you honors as Orange County Outstanding Tree Farmer, White River District Conservation Farmer of the Year, and Vermont Tree Farmer of the Year.
Your career achievements have been matched by your personal accomplishments, which can only be described as Herculean. You have competed for decades in skiing, kayaking, and canoeing, summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, climbed more than 20,000 feet in Nepal and to 21,500 feet in the Andes. You have set the cross-country ski tracks for numerous events, including numerous Dartmouth Winter Carnivals, three NCAA Championships, U.S. National Championships, a World Biathlon Championship, and the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. Among all this ruggedness, you even possess an artistic side: turning fine wooden bowls, which have been featured along with your wife's paintings in regional exhibitions.
Lucky for us, you have devoted your boundless energy to the College throughout the years as well. Odds are if it has to do with the outdoors and Dartmouth, you have been involved with it. You have worked tirelessly with the Dartmouth skiing program for many years as a judge, timer, course setter, and advisor. You have served as Woodsmen's Weekend coach, advisor, and alumnus competitor for almost 40 years, even organizing four alumni teams for the Centennial 2009 Woodsmen's Weekend in Hanover. As one of the original members of the Moosilauke Advisory Committee, you scouted out and helped build the Upper Gorge Brook Trail and new Snapper Trail as well as oversaw the Moosilauke Carriage Road restoration project. You have been a contributor and advisor to the Ledyard Canoe Club, member of the Selectman Committee for the Dartmouth Outdoor Programs director, and member of the Dartmouth Outward Bound Safety Committee. The great class of 1953 is thankful for the many class events you have hosted at your home in Lyme, NH, as well as your service as class vice president, mini-reunion chair, class agent, and member of the Reunion Committee, all of which have recently earned you Classmate of the Year honors.
You also work to make your community a better place through your involvement with many environmental activities including the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Board of Advisors of the New England Forestry Foundation, the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association executive committee, and as president of the Vermont Woodlands Association. You've also been board member, vice president, and president of the New England Camping Association and board member of the American Camping Association.
Finally, just as you are the definitive woodsman, you are the quintessential family man; committed to your wonderful children, grandchildren and wife, Marian.
Put, you have set many tracks for ski courses through the years; however, we most admire the way you have set the track for the course of your own life, perfectly converging those elements in which you are most passionate: the great outdoors, your family, career, community, and alma mater. It is because of this great feat that we are immensely proud to honor you with the Dartmouth Alumni Award.