Engage@EMU, GameAbove, and the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority team up for new digital gift card program to “Explore Ypsi”

Lighted by outdoor lamps, a sign painted on a brick wall of a downtown business says, "Welcome to Ypsilanti, Michigan."

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is excited to announce the launch of “Explore Ypsi,” a city-wide event to connect EMU students, faculty, and staff with local Ypsilanti businesses. A collaboration between Engage@EMU, GameAbove, and the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the event will run from Sept. 5 through Oct. 31, 2023.

“Explore Ypsi” provides EMU's first-year undergraduate and graduate students and new faculty and staff a $10 gift card to explore new restaurants, shops, and businesses in downtown, Depot Town and Cross Street. Participants can immerse themselves in the community while supporting local businesses.

 "We are thrilled to partner with GameAbove and the DDA on this initiative,” said Decky Alexander, director of Engage@EMU and professor in Communications, Media and Theatre Arts. "Explore Ypsi is one way for our newest Eagles to spread their wings and become part of the vibrant Ypsilanti community."

While first-year students, faculty, and staff are the target audience, all EMU community members are welcome to participate in “Explore Ypsi.” Individuals must sign up via this form using their EMU email address to participate. Gift cards will be sent to their university email accounts each week.

"GameAbove is dedicated to strengthening the connection between EMU and Ypsilanti," said Chao Sun, president of GameAbove. "We encourage all Eagles to take advantage of this fun opportunity to support local businesses."

For new EMU Students, staff, and faculty to access a gift card, follow the directions below: 

  • Fill out this survey.
  • At the end of every week, those who filled out the survey will receive a gift card in their EMU email. Applicants must have an EMU email. Note: here is only one gift card per person

“Explore Ypsi” is co-sponsored by the Ypsilanti DDA, GameAbove, and Engage@EMU. For more information on Explore Ypsi and a list of  businesses, visit the website or contact emu_engage@emich.edu  or 734.487.6570.

About GameAbove
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. To learn more, visit www.gameaboveemu.com.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 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. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.



September 13, 2023

Written by:
Denise Jimenez

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher