Doug Finney dedicated his life to theatre and Thespians. A student of EdTA Hall of Famer Melba Day Henning, he was an active member of the organization from the time he was in high school until his death in 1992.
He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1966, where he received an award for outstanding contribution to theatre his senior year. His first year out of college, he sponsored Thespian Troupe 2597 at The Dalles Senior High School in The Dalles, Oregon. A year later he became director of Thespian Troupe 1961 at North Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon. He taught theatre and speech and directed numerous theatre productions for five years before joining the ITS headquarters staff.
A gifted actor and director, Mr. Finney performed and directed in community theatres in both Oregon and Ohio. He was author and composer of the children’s musical The Song of the Gypsy Princess.
Mr. Finney’s service to the Thespian Society began expanding in 1969, when he served as Oregon’s state Thespian director. He served as regional director in 1970, and, in 1971 he moved to Cincinnati to become assistant executive director. He also served as co-editor of Dramatics magazine for one year, and co-chaired and then chaired the Thespian Festival. In 1989 he became director of volunteer services.
A colleague of Mr. Finney’s says of him, “Doug’s greatest trait is leaving his mark of perfection on every task he undertakes.” For his service to the organization Mr. Finney was awarded the International Director’s Award in 1982 and the Founders’ Award in 1991. Oregon Thespians presented him the Melba Day Sparks Award for Contributions to Theatre in 1980.