Dr. Barbara Elaine Finkelstein passed away on July 13th at the age of 69 from Interstitial Lung Disease.
As a young child Barbara always knew she wanted to be an educator, she had a great thirst for knowledge and especially history. She would listen for hours to stories her grandfather told her of the battles he fought in during WWI. Throughout her life she was an avid reader and teacher of history.
Barbara was a graduate of the Girls Latin School and held a bachelor’s degree from Boston State College, a master’s degree from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Capella University. She fulfilled her dream of being a college professor in 1978 when she began work at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA. Over the years Barbara held various leadership positions including V.P. of Faculty and Administration. She retired in 2014 from Massasoit to begin a new chapter in her life as president of York County Community College (YCCC) in Wells, Maine.
While at YCCC Barbara 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.
She 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.
In 2012, she was honored with the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished College Administrator Hallmark Award.
Barbara married the love of her life Jim in 1980 and the two of them settled in Franklin, MA in 1981. She is survived by her husband Jim, her sisters Doreen and Harriet, brother Steven and her beloved dog Dixie.
Graveside service will be held on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at 11:45 am at Sharon Memorial Park, 40 Dedham Street, Sharon, MA 02067.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Animal Welfare Society, https://animalwelfaresociety.org/ in Kennebunk, Maine, or the Wounded Warrior Project, https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/