Volunteer rewarded by other’s success

By Josh Albrecht

Editor’s note: This is the last of a three-part series featuring NIU students and staff who volunteer time to organizations.

Bill Finucane came to NIU in 1970 as a student, and now, 21 years later, he helps students accomplish their goals.

The NIU transportation manager is also the adviser for Circle K, a service organization affiliated with the Kishwaukee Kiwanis, and considers himself a road map that students can use as a guide to get where they want to go.

“As an adviser, I’m there to help them do what they want to do, to avoid some of the pitfalls and guide them, but at the same time, I’m not a traffic cop,” Finucane said.

He also is a member of the Kishwaukee Kiwanis, and through the Kiwanis he is involved with Circle K workshops at other schools.

“It’s given me the opportunity to go to places that I never would have been,” Finucane said.

The one-time youth baseball coach doesn’t have any problems finding time to help out students, though.

“It’s not necessarily finding time, it’s making time,” Finucane said. “I get so much back out of seeing people succeed, and that makes my effort of making time worthwhile.”

He also understands the hectic life that students lead, as students balance classes, work, personal life and volunteerism. After all, when Finucane was a student he was a member of the Residence Hall Council.

That experience, along with being around students his entire adult life, allows Finucane to relate to students better. Plus, he is a UNIV 101 instructor.

Through his working with students, Finucane has found the the best thing about NIU.

“The ever changing but not changing student,” he said. “It’s like different characters with the same script.”

He added that he has enjoyed seeing the campus evolve into a more diverse university.

But with everything that students do, Finucane still is impressed with the enthusiasm and creative ideas they have.

“The resourcefulness of students is often overlooked by a lot of people,” he said.

As for the future, Finucane plans to continue being the adviser for Circle K. He even sees his own children wanting to participate in community service projects.

His wife Rita Finucane, the admissions and records officer at NIU, has encouraged him to continue his volunteer work, as she also volunteers her time.

“My wife has been particularly understanding,” he said. “It kind of runs in the family.”