W.W. Yen was the first student from China to earn a degree from the University of Virginia. Arriving on Grounds in 1897, he excelled in disciplines spanning the arts, sciences, humanities, and law. Yen graduated in 1900 and went on to a long diplomatic and political career that included serving as the Premier of the Republic of China, China’s first ambassador to the Soviet Union, and a delegate to the League of Nations.
In 2016, the University honored Yen by establishing the W.W. Yen China Fund, an endowed fund that supports students, faculty, and visiting scholars who are engaged in learning about Chinese history, society, and culture.
This past April, UVA held a dedication ceremony for the newly named Yen House in the International Residential College.