Debbie Logel Butler
In the fall of 2005, I was the Executive Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations at Mohawk College. The Alumni Association at that time was restructuring and new leadership was needed. We had just hired Wendy Makey, as the Manager of Alumni Relations and needed to find an Alumni Assistant.
We had 5 candidates booked for the evening interviews and had completed 4 interviews and in the room comes this bubbly ray of sunshine – Kelly Dunham!
I had never met Kelly before and was instantly taken with this passionate young woman who spoke about her experiences at Mohawk as a student and athlete. She was so passionate that as she spoke, she started to cry, the emotions taking over as she shared her love for “all things Mohawk”.
The job offer was made that night, her maternity leave with Ally was complete and so began the Alumni dynamic duo of Wendy and Kelly.
It was at this time that I received my first “Kelly Dunham Hug”. A hug that one never forgets and pretty much squeezes every part of your being and is accompanied by a hearty laugh and chuckle.
Kelly’s enthusiasm was infectious, and our weekly staff meetings were always something to look forward to as they were filled with great stories, ideas and of course laughter.
During my tenure as Executive Director, I watched Kelly build and grow the alumni programs and events. She masterfully balanced being a wife, mother, coach, and friend to so many with charm, grace, and abundance of enthusiasm.
When I left Mohawk to become the Vice President of Development at St. Peter’s Hospital our Mohawk gang, (Wendy Makey, Jackie Jones, John Hazelwood, and myself) continued to meet quarterly for dinners and our famous craft nights of which Kelly always came up with the best craft ideas. Many of our friends and family still proudly display the lighted Christmas glass blocks and the not so famous “feathered Christmas tree”. We called our group “the union” as we would sip on wine dreaming of ways to become independently wealthy!!
Each meeting ended with lots of laughs and of course, a Kelly Dunham hug.
When Covid hit, the “union” met again over zoom in April 2020 for some laughs and wine. Who would have ever guessed that our Kelly would be gone a month later!
I am honored to join this Board of Directors and to create a legacy for Kelly Dunham. She was one of a kind, who shared with many her passion and enthusiasm for life.
Debbie Logel Butler (DLB)