Foundation receives $1.2 million bequest from Isermann estate

Howard and Betty Isermann.
Howard and Betty Isermann.

The New College Foundation has received a $1.2 million bequest from the estate of Howard and Betty Isermann, a large portion of which will be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund to benefit out-of-state students who wish to attend New College. Howard Isermann passed away in August 2017, and his wife, Betty, died in June 2018.

“This incredibly generous bequest will enable us to realize the dreams the Isermanns had for New College, for now and for the future,” stated Felice Schulaner, chair of the New College Board of Trustees.

Former chair of the New College Foundation Board, Howard Isermann long recognized the importance of fostering out-of-state scholars. In 2007, he established the Isermann Science Medal program, which provides an opportunity for academically talented first-year students from outside the state of Florida to get hands-on research experience in mathematics and the natural sciences.

During their lifetimes, the Isermanns gave much of their time and treasure promoting education, medical research and the arts. The couple’s commitment to New College dates back to the 1990s, and left an indelible stamp on the campus. Their generous endowment gifts have funded various academic initiatives and scholarships, construction of the Keating Center, and the dedication of the Betty Isermann Fine Arts Building, a teaching facility and gallery on the Caples campus that opened in 1998.

Howard Isermann developed the ultraviolet absorber that has become the most effective sunscreen in the world. In 1980, he founded Novarome Inc., manufacturer of fragrance compounds used in a wide variety of consumer products from soaps to perfumes. Each year, the Society of Cosmetic Chemists presents the Howard Isermann Award on any aspect of cosmetic science related to sunscreen.

An accomplished artist working in watercolors and acrylics, Betty Isermann studied with renowned watercolorists Nicholas Reale, Ed Whitney and Charles Reid. Entering juried shows in New York and New Jersey, she won several prizes and participated in numerous group exhibits at major corporate headquarters. Her artwork hangs in various locations on the New College campus and in the local community.

The New College Foundation raises funds to support New College of Florida, a nationally-recognized institution of higher learning that educates intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement. Through outright gifts, pledges and deferred giving, the Foundation raises critical funds for scholarships, faculty positions, academic programs, new buildings, student and faculty research and travel, and endowments. For more information, call 941-487-4800.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bay front campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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