Wells, Maine – Yesterday, York County Community College President Michael Fischer informed the college community of the passing of former President Dr. Barbara Finkelstein. Finkelstein served in that role from 2014 to until her retirement in 2019.
“Barbara was a creative and steadfast leader at York County Community College (YCCC,) and I know many of you were close to her. I am very saddened by this news,” Fischer said Tuesday.
Under her leadership Dr. Finkelstein oversaw a major $2.9 million capital campaign that helped build the Pratt & Whitney Building on the Wells, Maine campus and played a key role in securing funding for the purchase of the Sanford Instructional Site, giving the Precision Machining Technology program and others like it a permanent home in Sanford, Maine. Additionally, the College expanded academic offerings under her leadership adding programs in Veterinary Technology, Animal Care and Management and Gerontology.
“Barbara was a dedicated educator who cared deeply about our work,” said Maine Community College System President David Daigler. “She was unwavering in her commitment to the students and people at YCCC, and she will be remembered fondly by all who knew her and worked with her.”
Dr. Finkelstein always put the needs of students first making sure anyone who wanted it had access to a flexible and affordable education to achieve their goals and realize their dreams. To help facilitate this she added new scheduling options which included seven-week and two-week terms and personally donated funds to start the College’s first Student Emergency Assistance Fund.
“The hallmark of Dr. Finkelstein’s leadership was her commitment and dedication to serving the students, faculty, and staff at YCCC.” said Stacy Chilicki, YCCC Director of Marketing and Communications. “Her door was always open…she was just one of the sincerest, thoughtful, and genuine people I have ever had the honor to know.”
During her Presidency, Finkelstein worked tirelessly to deepen the ties between the college and surrounding communities and businesses. While at the College she served on the Board of Directors of the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce, the Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation, the Animal Welfare Society (Kennebunk, ME) and the Wells Rotary Club to name just a few.
Dr. Finkelstein held a bachelor’s degree from Boston State College, a master’s degree from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Capella University. Prior to joining YCCC Dr. Finkelstein served for more than 30 years in a variety of leadership roles at Massasoit Community College, in Massachusetts. In 2012, she was honored with the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished College Administrator Hallmark Award.
Dr. Finkelstein has left a lasting legacy on the college and will be sorely missed. Our heartfelt condolences to her family and her beloved dog Dixie.
Dr. Finkelstein’s graveside service will be held on Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 11:45 am at Sharon Memorial Cemetery, Dedham Street, Sharon, MA 02067. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, Maine, or the Wounded Warrior Project.