Eugene Isenberg, UMass alum and benefactor, dies at 87

By Collegian News Staff

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Courtesy of UMass Media Relations OfficeUniversity of Massachusetts alumnus and benefactor Eugene Isenberg died on Sunday at the age of 84.

Isenberg graduated from UMass with a degree in economics in 1950 and obtained his master’s degree from Princeton University. He began working for the company now called Exxon Mobil Corp. in 1955 before serving as chairman of Genimar, Inc. from 1969 to 1982. He then went on to head Nabors Industries, Inc., from 1987 to 2011. Nabors is one of the largest oil and gas drilling contractors in the world.

After Isenberg donated $6 million to the University in 1997, the School of Management was renamed after him.

“Gene Isenberg was one of our most dedicated alumni,” said Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy in a press release. “He never forgot his working class upbringing in Chelsea and how a UMass education prepared him for life. Over the years, his generosity supported scholarships and faculty chairs for integrative studies in science, engineering and management as well as our highly regarded Isenberg School of Management.”

At the time of his death, Isenberg was one of four co-chairs of UMass Rising, the University’s sesquicentennial fundraising campaign. He was also the founding president of the UMass Amherst Foundation, and he and his wife endowed three professorships. They couple also created the Isenberg Awards program.

Isenberg is survived by his wife, Ronnie, his two daughters, Diane and Lynda, and several grandchildren.

The burial will be private, but UMass has said that there will be a public remembrance scheduled at a later date.