About the Award

The University of Michigan Retirees Association created the Patricia Butler Distinguished Volunteer Award to honor Patricia (Pat) for her years of exceptional service as she retires from the Board in December 2023.

This award recognizes an individual for exceptional service to UMRA members specifically, and U-M retirees in general. Pat’s efforts, on behalf of UMRA, have been instrumental in elevating UMRA’s presence throughout the U-M community. For over 24 years, 5 years as President of the Board of Directors, she tirelessly worked to make UMRA a jewel for U-M retirees emphasizing advocacy, social connections, and just plain fun.

Each year the Association’s board may recognize an UMRA member who exemplifies Pat’s standards, values and energy for presentation at a fall member meeting.


  • Members who have dedicated a significant number of years to the organization, as their long-term commitment is valuable.
  • Members who have made significant contributions to the mission, who have had a positive impact on the lives of members, who have fostered a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, who have promoted inclusively, and who have consistently exhibited a positive attitude and enthusiasm –  as did Pat.

Carol Williams

The 2023 Distinguished Volunteer is awarded to Carol Williams, a beacon of unwavering dedication and generosity within the University of Michigan Retirees Association. Since joining in 2014, Carol has been the driving force behind our travel adventures, co-chairing our Travel Committee, and single handedly coordinating each trip with boundless enthusiasm. Her remarkable commitment to organizing eight to ten trips annually has enriched our community immeasurably. Beyond her exceptional leadership, Carols’ efforts and kindness have earned her the affection of all. Her selfless contributions to exemplary service make her a truly outstanding Distinguished Volunteer of the Year for 2023.