Eastern Michigan University to celebrate the official opening of new engineering and technology complex with naming ceremonies in honor of top business leaders

The interior of the newly renovated Sill Hall showing a staircase and modern lighting.

YPSILANTI – Two prominent business leaders will be the center of attention during the naming ceremony of two labs within the newly renovated Sill Hall – home of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. The labs will be named in honor of top business leaders, John Bodary, president of Woods Construction and Jack Roush, founder and chairman of Roush Enterprises.

The naming of the Woods Construction Construction Management Lab recognizes the longstanding commitment of Woods Construction and its president, EMU alumnus John Bodary. Over the past 30 years, Woods Construction and John and his wife Michelle Bodary, also an EMU alumna, have provided significant support for EMU’s Construction Management program, establishing the John and Michelle Bodary/Woods Construction Endowed Scholarship to benefit students pursuing Construction Management, as well as for equipment and renovations to the Construction Management Lab. The Woods Construction Construction Management Lab also honors the late Woods Construction founder, Oswald Pfaffmann, a dedicated supporter of EMU’s Construction Management program.

The Jack E. Roush Automotive Lab is named in honor of American motorsports icon and EMU alumnus Jack E. Roush. As chairman of the Board of Directors of Roush Enterprises and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, Roush has long been recognized as a leader in automotive innovation and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2017 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019. EMU awarded him an honorary doctorate of commercial science in 2019. Roush has provided significant support to EMU, creating endowed funds for math preparation and tutoring programming across the University, and to support the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. 

The celebratory event kicks off with special remarks from James Smith, president of Eastern Michigan University, Eunice Jeffries, chair of the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents and Mohamad Qatu, dean of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. The remarks will follow with the dedication of the Woods Construction Construction Management Lab at 4 p.m. and then the naming of the Jack E. Roush Automotive Lab at 5 p.m.  

“The extensive renovations and expansion of Sill Hall make it a premier destination for students entering the engineering and technology fields,” said James Smith, president of EMU. “Thanks to the support of John Bodary, Jack Roush, and other members of our business community, students from around the world receive a world-class education in a modernized facility where they experience dynamic and functional hands-on learning opportunities guided by our outstanding faculty.” 

The $40 million renovation and expansion of the 92,625 square foot Sill Hall reflect Eastern's commitment to offering high-quality, high-demand academic programs with a student-centered learning focus. Sill Hall now features modernized classrooms and labs, lecture halls, and student commons. Other new features include themed labs dedicated to autonomous vehicles research, cybersecurity, virtual reality, robotics, and maker spaces.  Mohamad Qatu, dean of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, said these learning environments give students technical knowledge and experience valuable to companies in southeast Michigan and across the globe.

Guests will have the opportunity to interact with GameAbove students, explore the facility throughout the evening and witness various demonstrations in several labs.

“These are exciting times at the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology for our students and faculty,” said Dean Qatu. “ With support from our local and international business community, we will continue to raise the profile of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology and graduate students who are well prepared to pursue their careers in engineering and technology fields.”

For more information about EMU’s College of Engineering and Technology, visit the college’s homepage.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 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. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

April 14, 2022

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher