Eastern Michigan University is renaming its engineering and technology college to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology in honor of the alumni group’s recent major gift to the ongoing expansion of the school’s best-in-class facility and program, and in recognition of GameAbove’s other transformational investments in EMU and the community. GameAbove is also bringing venture funding to EMU faculty, students, and alumni through the GameAbove Capital $50 million impact fund.
The latest $5 million gift to the engineering and technology college now brings the GameAbove donation total to $20 million over the span of 15 months. This team of passionate Eastern Michigan University alumni has come together to accelerate and expand innovation and academic excellence, promote student achievement, provide faculty enrichment as well as ensure stability in the surrounding Ypsilanti community. GameAbove’s contributions represent the largest gift portfolio received in Eastern Michigan’s 171-year history.
“The College of Engineering and Technology has a strong reputation. It will soon be making waves at a national level with the addition of several new engineering programs and a particular focus on emerging technologies such as cybersecurity for connected and autonomous vehicles and select aviation specialties. We strive to have these selected programs recognized nationally as the absolute best in the country, making Eastern Michigan incredibly attractive to students for decades to come,” said Keith J. Stone, member of the GameAbove Advisory Board. “We are also making available our GameAbove Capital $50 million impact fund. The fund, which is focused on next-generation sustainability-oriented ventures, is deliberately seeking out supporting investments for EMU faculty, students, alumni and the Ypsilanti business community.”
“This is truly a momentous day for Eastern Michigan University and to honor the investments by GameAbove to secure our future and recognize our distinct place in higher education,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “The University gratefully acknowledges our respected partnership with GameAbove, its tremendous support of our faculty and students, and their powerful belief in our vision.”
GameAbove, whose members include leaders in technology, is recognizing through its $5 million gift the college’s emergence and prominence as a hub for technology entrepreneurship, research and advanced engineering. The state of Michigan and EMU are spending $40 million to renovate and expand the college’s main building.
GameAbove’s $5 million gift will fund state-of-the-art supplies and equipment as well as innovative program upgrades, cover operating expenditures for the renovated building, support student recruitment efforts, and more.
“These are transformational times in Michigan and around the world. Significant private investments like GameAbove’s recognize our important role in the future of industry and innovation,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. “By sustaining and growing our teaching and research in key concentrations, we are providing students the real-world skills needed in today’s marketplace.”
GameAbove is one of the most unique, dynamic group of philanthropic supporters seen within a university. The team includes a diverse group from all ages and backgrounds, including accomplished entrepreneurs and businesspeople, Hall of Famers and select EMU coaches – all of whom are EMU graduates.
GameAbove provides a wholistic and next-generation approach to support Eastern Michigan, to stimulate contributions from other alumni and enterprises, and to foster new ideas and additional strategic planning for a university with a rich history that has graduated tens of thousands of successful students. GameAbove also has forged beneficial partnerships with other foundations that are encouraging younger students toward college and STEM careers as a path out of disadvantaged situations in their communities.
GameAbove began its support and partnership with EMU in late 2019 through two groundbreaking initiatives – “Students Matter Most” and “Faculty First” – totaling $3.5 million. The student program began with financial resources for learning clubs, intramural sports, student government and student organization priorities, as well as solutions for student homelessness and housing insecurity – situations that have been exacerbated during the pandemic. The faculty program already has assisted nearly 50 faculty with research and special projects.
While GameAbove’s mission has focused on blending investments in academics with foundational support of students for long-term goals, the team is uniquely capable of responding to urgent needs. Perhaps one of the most important pivots by GameAbove was quickly recognizing the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on students and the community. GameAbove’s first-ever gift to 2020 seniors graduating in the pandemic era was nationally recognized for giving students hope and support in one of the most challenging times in recent history. The team also provided financial support to students who were producing personal protection equipment for local medical staff.
Additional details of GameAbove donations are available upon request.
The EMU Board of Regents approved the renaming at its regular meeting today. The new name will become effective March 1, 2021.
Businesses and alumni wishing to contribute to Eastern Michigan’s success should visit Engage@EMU.
At GameAbove, our primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students of Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. Together, we will strive for that next level of success with a GameAbove all others. The GameAbove family of organizations will also help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting the use of innovative financial models to sustain universities, creative giving within the community, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, and promoting pioneering academic programs. www.gameabove.com
GameAbove Capital, a CapStone Holdings Inc. company, is a private venture fund focused on investing in and partnering with advanced-staged businesses with market leadership positions in services and products promoting the four pillars of sustainability – human, social, economic, and environment (ESG). Investment targets and themes focus on next-generation mobility, learning and workforce development, clean water, and products and services helping companies achieve greater sustainability objectives. www.GameAboveCapital.com.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s website