Alumni group donates $3.5 million to Eastern Michigan University

Donation will support faculty, students

Eastern Michigan University.
Eastern Michigan University. (Credit: Eastern Michigan University)

YPSILANTI – A group of Eastern Michigan University alumni announced Monday its initial $3.5 million donation to its alma mater.

The group, called GameAbove, is made up of alumni from various professional and academic backgrounds. They say the gift will go towards supporting faculty development and academic needs of students, both current and future. The two new initiatives are titled “GameAbove, Faculty First” and “Students Matter Most.”

Two million of the gift will go toward supporting faculty across all five academic colleges and the University Library. The additional $1.5 million will go toward supporting students.

“It is our intent to help the University support faculty development and to offer a clear focus on research, entrepreneurship, creative work and innovation when it comes to education and investment in our faculty and students alike,” spokesperson for GameAbove Denis Wolcott said in a statement. “We have a long-range vision to sustain and enhance the high-achieving uniqueness that is EMU.”

GameAbove members are former EMU student-athletes, entrepreneurs, former EMU coaches and Hall of Famers who hope to make a difference for the school.

“Eastern’s faculty had a significant positive impact on all GameAbove founders and advisory members," Wolcott said in a statement. “Our goal is to give back in many ways, from supporting the incredible and respected faculty at Eastern, enhancing the learning experience and contributing to the University’s next era of innovation.”

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In the future, GameAbove plans to make more donations to fund the building of state-of-the-art student facilities, to enhance athletic programs and provide innovation and entrepreneurial support for students.

“Eastern Michigan University is very grateful both for this initial and substantial gift as well as the long-range vision from GameAbove to support the university in many innovative ways,” Provost Rhonda Longworth said in a statement. “We look forward to a very collaborative effort from these grateful alumni.”

According to a press release, the “GameAbove, Faculty First” initiative will support:

  • Reassigned time from teaching for scholarly, creative, and innovative endeavors
  • Conference presentations
  • Travel
  • Hiring of research assistants
  • Purchase of special equipment or supplies for teaching, scholarly, research, creative, or innovative activities
  • Development of a grant proposal for external funding

The “Students Matter Most” initiative will fund:

  • Learning clubs
  • Intramural sports
  • Student government
  • Student organizations
  • Solutions for student homelessness and housing insecurity

The Office of the Provost in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs will oversee both programs.

About The GameAbove

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.

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