AMHERST, Mass. - Eugene and Ronnie Isenberg have donated $6 million to Campaign UMass in support of the School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Gene Isenberg is chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries of Houston and an alumnus of UMass Amherst.
Announcement of the gift was made by University President William Bulger and Amherst Chancellor David Scott at today''s regular meeting of the University''s Board of Trustees at UMass Dartmouth. Campaign UMass is the Amherst campus''s five-year drive to raise $125 million, enlist advocates, and enhance its image in Massachusetts and around the nation.
The Isenberg donation will be used to support new facilities and an endowed professorship at the School of Management. It will also serve as a challenge gift for the school''s portion of Campaign UMass. In recognition of their generosity, the School of Management will be named in honor of the Isenbergs.
"I believe my own good fortune is, in substantial part, due to the quality and breadth of education I received," says Gene, who received a bachelor''s degree in economics from UMass Amherst in 1950. "I''m very happy to be able to share my success in a way that allows me to give something back to the University to benefit today''s students and enhance the quality and reputation of the UMass Amherst School of Management."
Isenberg also received a master''s degree from Princeton University in 1955 and completed the Program for Senior Executives at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966.
"We are grateful to Gene and Ronnie for setting a whole new standard of giving to the University of Massachusetts Amherst," says Chancellor David Scott. "Their generosity validates our belief that private donors will help insure the future of this University."
Gene Isenberg was the School of Management''s 1997 Alumnus of the Year. His past support to the Amherst campus has included funding for ten annual two-year scholarships for outstanding UMass students who demonstrate talent in combining business disciplines with the sciences and engineering. The highly competitive grants are awarded to students selected from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the College of Engineering, and the School of Management.
"Gene and Ronnie grew up in Chelsea," says Thomas O''Brien, dean of the School of Management. "When the time came for Gene to go to college, he selected the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and here he obtained an education that helped make possible a remarkably successful professional life.
"The Isenbergs'' earlier gifts were specifically designed to foster collaboration between engineering, science, and management, and laid the groundwork for this latest, extraordinary gift. It will insure that the University will provide deserving students with the education needed to be fully competitive in the future. What a wonderful gift for all of us."
Isenberg joined Nabors Industries in 1987. The firm is the world''s largest drilling contractor for land- and offshore platform-based oil and gas projects, and is active in Alaska, the lower 48 states, Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, and Central and South America. Outside the hemisphere, Nabors has operations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the former Soviet Union.
He also serves as a director of the American Stock Exchange and of Danielson Holding Corporation, an insurance holding company. From 1969 to 1982, Isenberg was chairman of the board and principal shareholder of Genimar Inc., a steel trading and building products manufacturing company which was sold in 1982, and prior to that, from 1955 to 1968, he served in various management positions with the Exxon Corporation.