YPSILANTI, Mich., Jan. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- GameAbove, a dynamic and unique group of Eastern Michigan University alumni that has donated more than $15 million in the past 14 months to significantly advance educational initiatives at the university and has funded assistance programs and organizations within the greater Ypsilanti community, today announced five new members to its advisory board.
"The new GameAbove members each bring their own unique experience in finance, technology, entrepreneurship, mentoring and fund-raising along with a top-drawer commitment to supporting EMU and its students," said Keith J. Stone, a GameAbove advisory board member. "Their talents and contributions, along with those of the other GameAbove advisory board members, will be immediately put to use as EMU advances its academic programs, faculty enrichment, athletic programs and overall excellence in the post-pandemic era."
The new members are Dan McClory, Chris Kaufman, Ebony Walls, Karen LeVert and Earl Boykins.
Boykins, a 13-year NBA veteran, is considered one of the best basketball players to come out of Eastern Michigan. He is currently the Director of Student-Athlete Development for the University of Arkansas Men's Basketball program. "As a mentor to student-athletes and ensuring their academic success, I look forward to broadening this level of contributions to GameAbove," Boykins said.
LeVert is Managing Partner of LeVert Ventures, an early-stage AgTECH investment fund. A former student-athlete of EMU's women's basketball team, Karen has a long history of commercializing early-stage technologies from university research labs and launching them into the marketplace. "EMU's place in the world for innovation, technology and engineering is rapidly growing. It is exciting to be a part of a group of alumni who see the possibilities and can support this growth," LeVert said.
Walls, who was recently appointed as a national 2021 New Leaders Council Fellow, serves as the philanthropy and partnerships manager for the PGA Tour's Rocket Mortgage Classic, which raised over $2.7 million in 2020 to end the digital divide in Detroit and developed the Connect 313 Fund. She serves on the EMU's Alumni Association board of directors, is director of sponsorship for TedxDetroit and a member of W.I.S.E. (Women in Sports & Entertainment) Detroit. She is also a recipient of EMU's Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. "Inspiring students to reach beyond the stars through mentorship, scholarship and civic engagement has been my personal mission as an international social worker. GameAbove is a tremendous vehicle to channel and expand these efforts on and off EMU's campus," Walls said.
Kaufman is co-founder and chief design officer of StockX, a global e-commerce platform that recently announced a Series E funding round of $275 million that values the company at $2.8 billion. "As a serial entrepreneur, I greatly admire GameAbove's mission to promote innovation among our future generations, especially those who see Southeast Michigan as a technology hub," Kaufman said.
McClory is an investment banker and venture philanthropist who founded the non-bank financial institution Boustead & Company Limited in 2016 and serves as CEO and Chairman. Dan serves as a board member of the USA Track & Field Foundation, Eastern Michigan University Foundation, the Gen Next Foundation, and the American Savoy Foundation. He was also a three-time captain of EMU's cross-country team. "While I have been giving back to the university for years, GameAbove represents the next-generation of private-public partnerships that are needed to drive the social impact and economic development that support and augment higher learning and post-grad advancement for EMU," McClory said.
Considering the current pandemic environment and its impact on higher-education, GameAbove remains committed to EMU and plans to forge ahead through new creative partnerships with the university and the Ypsilanti community in 2021. Visit www.GameAbove.com for upcoming announcements.
Since its launch in November 2019, GameAbove has contributed more than $15 million to Eastern Michigan that supported or created programs sparking innovation and academic advancement. This includes enhancing faculty enrichment, providing financial assistance to students impacted by the pandemic and building new facilities that advance student-athlete achievements at EMU; fostering programs to encourage more girls and young women to seek STEM-related college degrees; and partnering with nationally recognized organizations that enable inner-city youth onto a path toward college. GameAbove also has invested in key non-profit organizations in the Ypsilanti community to support families in need, steer troubled youth toward productive lives and provide medical-related care.
About 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