In recognition of a new $5 million gift in addition to $15 million contributed over the past 15 months by GameAbove, Eastern Michigan University is renaming its engineering and technology college to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.
The EMU Board of Regents approved the renaming on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, and the new name was effective as of March 1, 2021.
GameAbove consists of a group of EMU alumni that came together in 2019 to discuss new and innovative ways to support EMU, its students and faculty, as well as the community. The team includes a group of alumni of different ages, backgrounds, and accomplishments.
“We’re passionate about our alma mater and recognize that our unique experiences, expertise, and assistant can play an important role in advancing the University’s many strong programs,” Khalid Walton, Ambassador at GameAbove, said. “We've also funded assistance programs and organizations within the greater Ypsilanti community. Our new release details these programs.”
Over the years, members of GameAbove have been contributing to the University individually. However, it became more clear to them that with combined efforts, their contributions to the University would bring more innovative change. The group has paved the way for how other alumni will choose to support their alma mater and how to discuss ideas and programs with the University that will benefit and make a difference in the students’ lives.
“I became involved because I wanted to continue to give back. I’ve supported EMU for several years. For me, it’s important to appreciate the place that helped me get to where I am today,” Walton said.
With the contributions from the alumni, the College has the potential to be a nationally known center for advanced technology and engineering.
“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,” Keith J. Stone, member of the GameAbove Advisory Board, said. “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.”
GameAbove’s overall support of Eastern includes the following major efforts over the past 15 months:
Committed $2 million to faculty-led research and special projects.
Established a Students Matter Most initiative to provide financial resources for students, including learning clubs, intramural sports, student government and student organization priorities, solutions for student homelessness, and housing insecurity, among other near-term needs.
- The group also partnered with the EMU Foundation at the start of the pandemic shutdown on a matching campaign, together raising more than $100,000 for the Student Emergency Fund that was able to immediately assist and support students in need.
Gifted $2 million for EMU April 2020 graduates and incoming 2020 fall semester first-year students, providing $600 per graduate and $400 to each incoming first-year student without obligations or restrictions regarding eligibility or use.
Funded efforts to help EMU students, faculty, and staff purchase tools and supplies to make masks, gowns, and other PPE for nurses, doctors, and staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital.