WCC names Michael Finney honorary degree recipient

Published on May 7, 2013 11:40am by Janet Hawkins,

The WCC Board of Trustees has selected Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, to receive the College’s highest honor, the 2013 Honorary Associate Degree in Community Service. The award will be given during commencement on Saturday, May 18, at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.

Finney has been a strong supporter of the College, an advocate for education, and an economic leader in the Washtenaw County community. He has served on the WCC Foundation Board of Directors, where he played an important role in advancing the College’s mission. In 2008 he and his wife, Gina, also established the Arthur Finney Scholarship to help remove the financial barriers some students face in achieving their academic goals.

“Michael Finney has made many significant contributions to our community, at both the local and state level,” said Anne Williams, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees. “His dedication and devotion to education and his strong advocacy for the community college mission have been invaluable to Washtenaw Community College in its service to the community. We are very pleased to recognize his contributions with an Honorary Associate Degree in Community Service.”

“Washtenaw Community College provides so many students from all walks of life the opportunity to pursue and achieve their educational and career goals,” said Finney. “This is an important community institution that my wife and I have had the privilege to work with over the years.  It’s an honor to receive this degree and I am proud to share this special recognition with my family, the Class of 2013, and all of the graduates who will go on to do great things in Michigan.”

As president and CEO of MEDC, Finney leads the state’s efforts in business and job growth, talent enhancement, tourism marketing, arts and cultural grants, and overall economic growth. His responsibilities at MEDC also include serving as Gov. Rick Snyder’s Economic Growth Group Executive and as president and chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund. Prior to his service in Lansing, Finney served as the president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, where he led economic development for the greater Washtenaw region.

The WCC commencement ceremony begins at 9:20am at the EMU Convocation Center, 799 North Hewitt Road in Ypsilanti. The public is welcome to attend.