James E. Finke, class of 1928 is being inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame for his academics, his distinguished career, and service to his community.
James graduated from the class of 1928 where he was an honor student and Vice President of his class. He graduated with a BS from Union College in 1935, a time when most people did not attend college.
During WWII, James served as an Air Warden for the city of Rensselaer. He was an active member of the Rensselaer Republican Committee and was a featured speaker at the Van Rensselaer High School Class of 1954 Senior Sunday ceremony and gave the keynote address at the graduation ceremony for the VRHS Class of 1957. He was a prominent area Mason for over 40 yrs, holding many offices, including Master in 1942, District Grand Master in 1952, and served on many Grand Lodge committees. He also held memberships in City Chapter #242, Royal Arch Mason Temple Commandery #2, Knights Templar and Cyprus Temple Shriners all of Albany. He was a member of the University Club in Albany and the Fort Orange Club. All of these organizations have as their purposes, service to the community.
James' career achievements included 32 years of service affiliated with the Citizens Public Expenditure Survey in Albany. His positions included editor of the "N.Y.S. Taxpayer" and Director of Research and Public Relations. Frequently he was appointed by Governor Rockefeller as a delegate to represent N.Y.S. at the Annual Conference of the National Tax Association. In 1953 he was appointed a special consultant to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on Social Security in Washington, D.C.
James was nominated by his son, James J. Finke, class of 1957. James was married to the former Marion Hyland and had two sons, one of whom is also being honored tonight. He also had six grandchildren.