Outstanding Service Award

Bill Finucane

Manager, Department of Transportation

When NIU needs a ride, it calls Bill Finucane.

Finucane oversees operations for nearly 250 vehicles, including their purchase, scheduling and maintenance, and manages 11 full-time employees.

The 30-year employee who started as extra help in 1975 is a leading force in transforming NIU's fleet into the largest "green" fleet in Illinois. He works tirelessly to ensure his operation is fiscally efficient and sound, including negotiations for low fixed rates for gasoline.

But it's Finucane's calm, helpful and patient demeanor, and his commitment to safety, that resound most.

"During our annual high school speech camp last summer, the weather was quite bad," said Judy Santacaterina, director of NIU forensics events. "On three different occasions, Bill was able to provide us with buses on short notice to make sure that all our high school students and staff made it safely back to the residence halls."

"Bill was first on the scene as the sky began to darken and the tornado sirens started to blare on Opening Day 2007," added Kelly Wesener, assistant vice president for Student Services.

After Feb. 14, Finucane drove President John Peters to the funerals for the five fallen students. He coordinated transportation for the families of the killed and injured as they attended memorial events and for the legion of counselors brought to campus.

Finucane, a double NIU alum with a master's degree in public administration and a passion for Huskie sports, is active in Kiwanis and chairs the DeKalb Citizens Environmental Commission. He also serves on the board for the Volunteer Action Center, the board of advisers for NIU's public administration program and manages the annual girls' soccer tournament for DeKalb High School.

Bill Finucane