‘Because I Can’

In retirement, Faye Finnegan finds joy in living life to its fullest — and serving her community.

Pictured: Faye Finnegan, center, gathers with Janet Rhomberg, Uli Schultz and Mary Schmid during a Women’s Giving Circle event at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

Since retiring from the Community Foundation in 2022, Faye Finnegan has jumped at opportunities to travel, enjoy outdoor adventures, and spend quality time with family. When her friends recently asked why she was taking a kayak trek, she replied with what has become her retirement motto: “Because I can!”

Faye spent her career serving Dubuque in roles at the Foundation and Loras College. Today, she balances retirement fun with volunteerism and other opportunities to give back to the community she calls home.

“I learned through my work at Loras and the Foundation that there are many ways for the average person to support the community they’ve lived and worked in, including endowment giving and estate planning,” she says.

Working at the Foundation, Faye gained a deeper understanding of the barriers many local residents face, inspiring her to continue her community service. Among the organizations she is involved with are the River Bend Food Bank, St. Stephen’s Branch; TTT, a women’s philanthropy group that raises funds for girls to attend camp and financial awards for post-high school education; the Presentation Lantern Center; Almost Home’s Open Closet; and the Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle — a group she helped steward in her career.

Plus, she never misses an opportunity to talk with others about community needs and how they can help address whatever Dubuque faces in the future.

“The Foundation helped me understand the importance of endowments for strengthening this region,” she says. “A lot of people remember the challenges Dubuque faced 40 years ago and also see the progress it has made. Endowment-building and the Foundation’s community leadership have played a big role in that transformation and will continue to do so long into the future.”

She also is quick to remind people looking toward retirement that life is rich with opportunities for relaxation, excitement and generosity. For instance, she is looking forward to another winter as a ski instructor at Sundown Mountain Resort in Dubuque. Why does she do it? “Because I can!”