Gaming Executive To Kick Off Fall 2016 Semester

Gaming Executive To Kick Off Fall 2016 Semester

Ed Fries, Class of 1986, Returns To Socorro For Convocation

SOCORRO, N.M. – New Mexico Tech graduate, video game pioneer and former Microsoft vice president Ed Fries is the special guest speaker at the annual Convocation Ceremony, which will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, August 21, at Macey Center.


Ed Fries (left) accepts the Distinguished Alumni Award from Paul Shoemaker (right) at the 2015 Commencement ceremony.  In the middle is former president Dr. Daniel H. Lopez. 


Fries graduated from New Mexico Tech in 1986 with a bachelor's in computer science. The New Mexico Tech Alumni Association named him their 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award winner.

Convocation is the official ceremony that marks the new academic year. For new students, this ceremony officially denotes their matriculation at New Mexico Tech. New Mexico Tech president, Dr. Stephen Wells, will host the event. Representatives of each academic department will take part in the ceremony as well, leading a processional into the auditorium.

Students will have the opportunity to mingle with faculty members and administrators following the ceremony.  At 5:30 p.m., the university will offer a free barbecue for students at the Swim Center and a 'Block Party' on the Athletic Field.   

Fries will also speak at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 22, in the third-floor ballrooms of the Fidel Center. This talk is open to all students. At the conclusion of his talk, Fries will host a Q&A session with those in attendance.

Fries created his first video games for the Atari 800 in the early 1980s, even before he came to Tech. He joined Microsoft in 1986, and spent the next 10 years as one of the early developers of Excel and Word. Ultimately, he moved from the Microsoft Office team to pursue his passion for interactive entertainment and created Microsoft Game Studios.


Ed Fries, Class of 1986



Over eight years, he grew the team from 50 people to more than 1,200, published more than 100 games including more than a dozen million-plus sellers. He co-founded the Xbox project, helping to make Microsoft one of the leaders in the video game business.  He was a prime promoter of that platform to game developers and had an important role in the acquisition of other game developers.

In 2004, Fries retired from his job as a Vice President of Microsoft to continue his work in the video game industry. He now serves as a board member, advisor and consultant to a broad range of publishers, independent game developers, and media companies.  In 2007 Fries launched his own startup, Figure Prints, an innovative company that uses color 3D printing technology to bring video game characters to life, such as those in "World of Warcraft."  

In the summer of 2010, Fries released “Halo 2600,” a “demake” of the Halo video game series for the Atari 2600.  In 2013 “Halo 2600” became one of the first two video games to be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

– NMT –