In her long career Ellen Putnam, CLU®, won many awards, but none as important as the John Newton Russell Award in 1978. Standing less than five feet tall, Ellen stood on a box so she could see over the podium as she addressed the audience, calling the award presented annually by NAIFA (formerly NALU) since 1947 the “highest honor that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the life insurance and financial planning industry.” The award’s namesake, John Newton Russell, worked to develop the original Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU)® designation and was one of the American College’s incorporators and early trustees.
Webb, Virginia E., "Ellen M. Putnam: A Giant in Insurance Sales and Service" (2012). Faculty Publications. 384.