Ms. Buffy Kelly has been named Eastern Wyoming College’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni.
Kelly earned her Associate of Science degree from EWC in 1994 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming in Medical Technology. She then earned her Master of Science degree in Leadership from Southwestern College.
Her professional career began as a medical technologist in the laboratory at Platte County Memorial Hospital in Wheatland, Wyoming. She later worked at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and in 2013 moved into healthcare consulting.
Kelly is currently a partner/managing director for Chicago based Huron Consulting Group in their healthcare practice. In her present position she leads large performance improvement engagements in healthcare systems across the United States.
Growing up in Goshen County Kelly watched EWC Coach Verl Petsch and his volleyball teams, attending volleyball camps and made it a goal to be a part of Coach Petsch’s program.
After graduating from Southeast High School in 1992, Kelly attended EWC on a volleyball scholarship and played for Coach Petsch.
“Coach and Bonnie (his wife) always treated us like family and 30 years later, they still do,” Kelly said. “For all their athletes they have been there for us through the good times and the bad.”
She credits the small classroom sizes and instructors at EWC who “truly cared” if you were in class each day, because they wanted to see you succeed, as reasons for her success. The school was a “great stepping stone to build confidence before moving onto a larger university.” “Dr. Peggy Knittel, Dr. Lorna Hunter and Verle Punke are (EWC) instructors that I still think back on and know that I would not be where I am today in my professional career if it was not for them,” Kelly said.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded yearly by the EWC Foundation to an alum who has exemplary achievement in their profession, academic activities, and in community and civic service.
“I also want to recognize my parents, Stanley and Adele Smith, and the huge impact they have had on my life. My parents never missed a game in my high school career and never missed a home game in my college volleyball career,” Kelly said. “They have become adoptive parents for volleyball and basketball players at EWC ever since I played here and they, along with other adoptive parents in Goshen County, continue to play a large role in helping student athletes feel at home and be successful in the community.”
Kelly was honored at the 2022 EWC graduation ceremony held May 14, in Torrington, Wyoming. She still lives in Wyoming with her husband of 26 years, Clay, and has two children, Rachel and Chance, who are students at the University of Wyoming.
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