Ryan Jameson Putman came to Christ Church Episcopal School in 2013. In a little over three years, he founded the CCES Chess Club, became a star athlete on three teams, welcomed new students to campus as a Student Ambassador, successfully ran for Senior Class President, and earned the Eagle Scout rank. And that’s just a drop in the proverbial bucket. If one could compile a list of all of the characteristics and qualities they would desire their child(ren) to possess, Ryan Putman has them in abundance. Upon compiling his long list of awards, accomplishments, activities, and accolades, I considered for a moment that he may even be superhuman.
According to Ryan, he didn’t find Brown, Brown University found him. That’s saying a lot as the Ivy League University in Providence, Rhode Island is extremely selective, admitting only about 9% of applicants. And although he did not anticipate playing collegiate athletics, Ryan will play football for the Bears in the fall. He also applied to Vanderbilt University, North Carolina State, Mercer University, Clemson University, Florida Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Howard University, Mississippi State and held an offer to play football from Newberry College, his parents’ alma mater. Newberry College did not have his major. “I love the game and I feel extremely excited and blessed to be able to continue playing it, but I wasn’t going to compromise my major (Civil Engineering), just to go play football,” says Ryan.
You could say Ryan frequently steps out of his comfort zone, but it’s outside of that zone where he practically lives. “Ryan is a talented leader because he excels at connecting with others,” says his College Counselor Lindsey Waters. “He loves laughing, learning about people, and asking questions; a Jimmy Fallon of our school community. He defines success as attempting to be the best version of himself, every day. Ryan’s presence as a leader and his connection with others make him not only the best version of himself, but an impressive young man that inspires others.”
Ryan was selected by 10th grade advisors and teachers to receive the Cavalier Spirit Award for most exemplifying school citizenship and involvement, and care for others. In 11th grade, faculty selected Ryan for the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony Award for cultural sensitivity and social justice. He was chosen for the North South All Star Roster and All-State team for football this past year and won two individual awards, the Palmetto Champions Class AA Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Region Player of the Year. The awards are praiseworthy, yet Ryan credits them as a “testament to CCES and the program that we’re building here.” “We may have taken a step back from our four championship streak, but I feel like the culture has only gotten stronger,” he commented.
Rounding out an already impressive set of extracurriculars, Ryan is a member of the Sports Debate Club, a leader in a student-led ministry called The Chill Club, President of his Youth Ministry and Youth Choir at Bethlehem Baptist Church where he is also an usher, and has been a Counselor with Summer Encounters every summer in high school. “That’s one thing I really like about CCES, there are so many opportunities to get involved. I like being involved, meeting new people, talking with people— my nature won’t let me not be involved,” said Ryan.
JUST FOR FUN!
Favorite part-time job you’ve ever had? Working as suite-attendant at the Greenville Drive. I enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at the day to day operations and routine of the team, so much goes into making a game run smoothly.
If you could talk to anyone throughout history, who would it be and what would you talk about? Jackie Robinson. In this age there is so much that youth has to balance. I would love to talk to him about how difficult it was for him overcoming his rough childhood, being the first black player in the major leagues, and how he persevered.
Who is your favorite professional sport & team? Atlanta Falcons… and yes, it was a bad day. The Philadelphia Philles are a close second.
Favorite CCES Memory? In general I love Spirit Week. Heading up the student/faculty basketball game this past year and playing one of the best faculty squads ever, put together by Coach Whited, is a memory I won’t ever forget.
Of all the patches on your uniform (scouting), which one means the most or which one of them are you most proud to wear? I have 33 patches but I’m most proud of both the camping merit badge and chess merit badge. I’ve been playing chess since the 3rd grade— it’s challenging and intuitive and I’m constantly having to learn and get better at it.