Eastern Michigan University alum donates $1 million to support mathematics, automotive programs

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Eastern Michigan University alumnus Jack E. Roush has donated $1 million to his alma mater.

Roush is the chairman of the board of Roush Enterprises and founder, co-owner and CEO of NASCAR racing team Roush Fenway Racing.

The gift will support automotive and mathematics programs at the schools’ GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.

“This generous gift will play a critical role in increasing access for EMU students to math instruction and support, as well as offer superior preparation to students planning to enter the automotive industry,” University President James Smith said in a release.

“This gift is a reflection of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology’s commitment to partnering with some of the country’s leading companies in STEM industries to give Eastern students an invaluable advantage upon graduation.”

Roush said he hopes his gift will help students gain critical hands-on experience while at EMU that will help them advance to careers in their fields.

“I have a lifelong commitment to learning, and I’ve come full circle, from receiving my master’s degree in scientific mathematics at EMU to founding and chairing a company so heavily committed to technical excellence,” said Roush. “One of the challenges for young people coming of age in our time is marrying a strong academic background with practical experience.

“The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology program’s hardware labs, focused on solving real world problems, meet that challenge. I’m glad to see that my gift will optimize opportunities for students to gain vitally important hands-on experience.”

According to a news release, the gift will support the following initiatives:

  • A $400,000 endowment to enhance and expand math preparation and tutoring programming with particular emphasis on students desiring to pursue engineering, computer science and other STEM majors.
  • A $400,000 endowment for the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology to be used at the discretion of the Dean to support equipment, programming and initiatives focusing on preparing students for careers in the automotive industry through academic and experiential opportunities including support for the Baja SAE Racing team and other vehicle competition teams.
  • A $200,000 fund for immediate use to support the purchase of industry standard automotive lab equipment for the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.

“This gift is a vote of confidence for the College, its facilities, and its program. We are very excited about the support from Mr. Roush, such a respected authority in the field of engineering,” dean of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, Mohamad Qatu, said in a release. “These funds will help us provide math tutoring to students to prepare them for the math-intensive engineering programs we offer.

“It will help us maintain our recently acquired advanced equipment, and will reinforce research and teaching initiatives in automotive engineering, such as supporting existing and future student teams for projects like SAE Baja and SAE Formula competitions.”

Roush’s $1 million gift is part of EMU’s comprehensive Give Rise campaign, which was launched in March 2021 and aims to raise $100 million.

To learn more about the campaign, visit emugiverise.com.