The Eastern Michigan University alumni group, GameAbove, donates $610,000 to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology for a new upscale 38,000 sq. ft. park on the University's campus. Land construction began in the spring 2021 and is scheduled for completion for the fall semester and start of the 2022 academic year.
The new park is on the site of the former president's house between Goddard Residence Hall and Sill Hall, which more recently housed a sorority. The redevelopment plans cover the area south of Legacy-Sponberg Theatres to West Forest Avenue. The newly landscaped space around the south side of Sill Hall toward Lowell Street will offer outdoor studying and a gathering area for students and faculty. EMU selected Michigan-based civil engineering company PEA Group to lead the redevelopment.
"We are excited to bring this amazing space to the campus," said Karen LeVert, GameAbove advisory board member. "The renovated Sill Hall offers an incredible academic experience for students pursuing their degrees in STEM-related fields. We want to help extend the innovative design to the outside areas surrounding the building, and that is our goal here with the new park." Along with LeVert, other GameAbove members who contributed to planning the project are Jeff Bourdon, Jack Brusewitz, Chris Kaufman, and Craig Petersmark.
Features of the new park include:
More than 45 new trees and shrubs, including seasonal flowering trees
Nine seating walls
Paved circular drive
Up to six new sculptures
Beautification efforts such as the new park enhance the visual appearance on campus and help with recruiting new students and retaining existing students. Students want their learning environments to be inviting and stimulating, and we will accomplish that with this amazing new outdoor space with the help from GameAbove. We are incredibly grateful for their continuous support of the college and entire University."
Mohamad Qatu, dean of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology
The donation expands on GameAbove's commitment and partnership with EMU and its College of Engineering and Technology. Since its launch in 2019, GameAbove has committed more than $30 million to EMU, supporting or creating programs that spark innovation and academic advancement. Some of those programs include enhancing faculty enrichment, supplying financial aid to students, and building and improving new facilities that advance student-athlete achievements at EMU. GameAbove also supports programs to encourage STEM learning in school-aged children and partners with nationally recognized organizations that enable youth to explore an education and career path in STEM.
GameAbove at EMU's primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students at Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. GameAbove aspires to help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting innovative financial models to sustain universities, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, promoting pioneering academic programs, and creative giving within the community.
About the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology
The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology provides world-class experiences in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, gaming, aviation, and other areas of study in high-demand career fields. It is within the college's mission to cultivate individuals' intellectual and personal growth through research-informed education and diverse programs that emphasize the practical application of scientific knowledge.
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.