“We all need further education and local colleges are probably the best place to start,” said Robert Isensee in a 1995 interview with the NIACC Foundation. Robert and Mary Isensee made further education a reality for North Iowans through many NIACC contributions and the creation of an endowed scholarship fund through a generous donation of stock in 1980.
In an interview prior to his death, Isensee indicated that both he and Mary were very interested in education and that they felt that NIACC could benefit from their scholarship support.
Bob was raised in Fargo, North Dakota. He received a law degree from the University of Iowa and joined the banking industry upon graduation. He came to Mason City in 1949 as vice president of United Home Bank and Trust Company, which became Boatmen’s Bank, now Bank of America. Bob became president of the bank in 1957 and remained there until his retirement in 1977. He also bought, developed and sold 17 banks across North Iowa. Isensee spent a successful career in a field he loved.
Both Bob and Mary were active in Mason City. Bob was president of the Mason City Development Association, on the board of the Iowa Partners for Alliance and a member of the Iowa State Bankers Association and a member of the Iowa Bar Association. Mary was very involved with the First Congregational Church and was active in local community fund-raising activities and politics. She was also president of the YWCA in Mason City.
Although neither Bob nor Mary are living today, their legacy of community involvement lives on through their generous gifts. Each community where Bob and Mary resided has been touched by their generosity and their belief in giving back to the community. Their contributions to NIACC illustrate their beliefs in the importance of education.