Campaign UMass Tops $47 Million To Date

October 7, 1997

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AMHERST, Mass. - Campaign UMass, the comprehensive campaign to raise $125 million, enlist advocates, and enhance the image of the University of Massachusetts, has raised $47.4 million in cash and pledges to date.

According to national campaign chair, John P. Flavin, of Arlington, Texas, an alumnus from the Class of ’59, the original goal was to hit the $40 million mark one year after the campaign announcement, which took place in October 1996. Having surpassed the target, he said, "We remain optimistic we will meet our goal or expand it." Flavin made the announcement at the Sept. 26 meeting of members of the Campaign Cabinet, 42 alumni and friends of the University who are overseeing the campaign and helping the University identify and solicit major-gift prospects.

Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Royster Hedgepeth announced several campaign milestones: the campus’s first $1 million cash transfer; the first multimillion-dollar gift; and the University’s largest gift to date.

The $1 million cash transfer was from Flavin, for an endowed chair in entrepreneurship in the School of Management. The gift drew $500,000 in matching funds from the state’s Endowment Fund, bringing the total support for the chair to $1.5 million, making it the first entirely funded endowed chair at the University.

The first multimillion-dollar gift was a $2 million trust from Richard J. Mahoney and Barbara Barnett Mahoney, both Class of ’55. This donation also drew matching funds from the state and was in addition to a major annual gift to the chemistry department by the couple. The Mahoneys live in St. Louis, Mo.

The largest gift ever donated to the University was $6 million from Eugene and Ronnie Isenberg. Eugene Isenberg received a bachelor’s degree in economics from UMass in 1950 and is chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries of Houston.

Hedgepeth said the $6 million Isenberg gift is expected to leverage another $13 million from various sources. Of the $6 million gift, Hedgepeth said, $4 million is a challenge grant for an addition to the School of Management building that is expected to garner another $4 million from alumni and friends of the University. Once that is raised, Hedgepeth said, the University will contribute another $4 million for the building project, adding up to a total of $12 million for the addition to the School of Management. The remaining $2 million from the Isenbergs is a challenge grant for an endowed professorship in the School of Management and for an integrated cross-disciplinary program that is expected to garner another $1 million in matching funds from the state and $4 million from individual donors.