Although this campaign has concluded, it's easy to give to Ohio University and support The Mike Finney Geospatial and Data Science Fellowship Fund.

Honoring Mike Finney

Honoring Mike Finney Image
Participation Drive
8 Donors
Towards goal of 35 Donors
$1,514.00 Raised
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

Honoring Mike Finney

Few individuals at Ohio University or the region and State of Ohio have contributed as much as Mike Finney has to improve the lives of communities in the Appalachian region and the State. 

Along with Dean Weinberg, Mike Finney is one of the most vital contributors to the creation, growth, evolution, and endurance of the Voinovich School over the past 35+ years. Mike has been integral in advancing the organization from an Institute to a Center and culminating into a School that continues to grow, thrive, and deliver vital service to the region, State of Ohio, and beyond. Mike was instrumental in launching major program initiatives and partnerships, development budget, financial, administrative, and technical systems, and building project teams.

Mike’s Impact

From the School's inception, Mike was key in cultivating regional relationships to launch impactful applied projects in a variety of topical areas, many of which grew into partnerships that still exist today such as the EDA University Center and Census Data Redistricting Project. One of the seminal core competencies of the School that Mike initiated is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) proficiency. GIS provides exceptional ways for public and private sector entities to visualize many types of data in spatial relationships to geographic locations enabling data users to make better-informed decisions about where and how to deploy resources for the highest impact.

Along with nurturing many types of project work, Mike took on the responsibility to develop the School's fiscal capacity to efficiently and effectively manage its ever-growing portfolio of externally-funded projects which have expanded to an enormous magnitude over his many decades at the School. His ability to continuously augment the School's finance function to keep pace with growth and compliance changes has been indescribably crucial to its effectiveness and longevity. 

One major set of financial initiatives was the original launch of TechGROWTH Ohio, a Third Frontier Commission award that is now in its 6th cycle. Mike has consistently served as a stalwart steward of public resources. He has created systems and processes to grow and develop project managers into fiscally responsible team leaders who effectively manage their teams daily. The results-oriented and fiscally sound reputation has enabled the School to continue to expand its work and grow exponentially.

Mike Finney at a Voinovich event at the Kennedy Museum in 2017


The new Mike Finney Geospatial and Data Science Fellowship Fund will provide support for students participating in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Data Science activities for rural public good within the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service.

The magnitude of his leadership, knowledge, and generous mentorship with professional staff and team leaders have had a transformative influence on improving the School's capacity to ensure program success. It would not be the organization it is today if not for Mike. For his many decades of service to the School, Ohio University, the region, the State of Ohio, and beyond — we are grateful. Thank you, Mike! 

Your Contribution

Your contribution to The Mike Finney Geospatial and Data Science Fellowship Fund not only celebrates a connection to Mike, but also the legacy and impact he has built during his tenure at Ohio University.


Your generous gift to this OHIO campaign will help students in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service

Your actions now will make this "Honoring Mike Finney" campaign a success. Here are four things alumni and friends can do to support this fund and a bright future for OHIO students enrolled in the Voinovich School:

  • Make a gift today in support of this effort
  • Mail a check (payable to The Ohio University Foundation) to The Ohio University Foundation, PO Box 869, Athens, OH 45701; be sure to write Mike Finney Geospatial and Data Science Fellowship Fund on the memo line.
  • Talk with Elyse Dillinger '08 about a transformational gift to this fund.
  • If you want to explore making a charitable gift to this campaign with a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), giving via a Donor Advised Fund or stock transfer, please also reach out to Elyse Dillinger.



In 2018 at an on-campus event (left to right): Mark Weinberg, Carin Painter '93, '96, Rob Painter '93, and Michael Finney '83, '85

Mike Finney (left) talks to Vince Adams '80 in 2014


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In recognition of the original organization, the Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development (ILGARD), and Mike's 35+ years of service



In honor of The George V. Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs being established in 1998



In recognition of 2007's renaming of the center to The George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs