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Asian Centennial Committee Charge

President Katherine A. Rowe | February 5, 2021

Understood to be the first international student of color to attend William & Mary, Pu-Kao Chen '23 arrived at William & Mary in AY 1921-22. In AY22, we will mark the centennial anniversary of Chen's arrival on campus with a commemoration of the Asian Centennial at William & Mary. The centennial creates an important opportunity for university-wide reflection and education, as well as advocacy and inspiration as William & Mary aspires to its shared values of belonging, curiosity, and flourishing.

Charge to the Committee on the Asian Centennial at William & Mary:

Beginning spring 2021 and through AY22, the committee will develop and execute a meaningful commemoration of the Asian Centennial at William & Mary. The goal of the commemoration should be three-pronged:

  1. To honor the legacies of trailblazing leaders on our campus;
  2. To understand and elevate the defining impact of Asian and Asian-American students, faculty, and staff on William & Mary;
  3. To advance William & Mary’s aspirations as a global, cosmopolitan, and multicultural institution.

Aligned with this trio of goals, the commemoration should seek long-term gains in understanding of the impact of Asian and Asian-American students on the university's history and the vision for
William & Mary, as an institution that seeks "to understand and change the world together."

Scope of Work:

The commemoration should take a university-wide approach to engage the entire campus and extended university community. The committee will develop programming, advance
research, forge opportunities for collaboration and partnership, and brainstorm and propose opportunities to illuminate the history of Asian and Asian-American students, faculty, and staff at
William & Mary.

Timeline for Commemoration:

The commemoration will take place over the course of a full academic year, culminating during the May 2022 Commencement Ceremony. Recognizing the ongoing
uncertainty created by the pandemic, the committee should plan for maximum flexibility and for virtual and in-person programming. Each semester should have a focused goal:

  • Spring 2021: cultivate awareness of and anticipation for the upcoming centennial anniversary;
  • Fall 2021: launch the centennial year with a mix of virtual and in-person programming;
  • Spring 2022: culminate the yearlong commemoration through university-wide celebrations.

The Provost's Office has provided $50,000 to support the commemoration. Additional financial support will come through fundraising by the co-chairs and other supporters.


I would like to receive a progress report from the Committee during each semester of the commemoration with a final report by Summer 2022.

Thanks to the co-chairs of the committee, Professor Tanglao Aguas and Professor Sohoni, for their hard work to prepare for the commemoration and for their leadership throughout this important
celebration in the history of the university.