Asian Americans at William & Mary

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The first Asian American student to attend the College of William and Mary was Art Matsu, class of 1928.

First known Asian American student at William and Mary

Arthur A. (Art) Matsu - Matsu (class of 1928) is generally believed to be the first Asian American student to attend the College of William and Mary. Matsu was half Japanese. Matsu played back and kicked punts for the College's football team and was a member of the 7 Society among other activities. The Catalogue of Alumni and Alumnae (1932) lists Matsu's home as Wickliffe, Ohio and his occupation as coach at Rutgers University. In the March 22, 1947, issue of The Flat Hat Matsu is described as a "backfield mentor at another of the Northern schools." Matsu was selected in balloting for the all-time William and Mary football team. (Flat Hat 17 April 1946) See also stories about the football team in 1925 and 1926 in The Flat Hat and Colonial Echo.

Early Asian American Students

List in-progress

Hatsuye Yamasaki – Entered the College in 1933 and graduated in 1937. During her time at the College, Yamasaki was part of the Judicial Council and the Women's Sophomore Tribunal. She was also Brown Hall President, Spanish Club Secretary, an Intramural Sports Representative, and on the Indian Handbook staff. Yamasaki hailed from Washington DC. See the 1937 The Colonial Echo page 86-87.

Beatrice H. Fujiwara Sakai of Honolulu, Hawaii entered the College in 1949 and graduated in 1953, majoring in biology. She was a member of the Biology Club. See The Flat Hat of April 24, 1951, page 7. See also the Colonial Echo.

Early Asian Students

This list is not comprehensive, but is simply a sample at this point

  • Swain Wool from Canton, China. Wool was involved in the Phoenix Literary Society and YMCA. He transfered to the College from Columbia University. See the 1930 Colonial Echo, page 66.
  • Asgnar Ali from Pakistan, see the October 7, 1952 issue of The Flat Hat.
  • Ed Sung from Hong Kong, see the October 6, 1959 issue of The Flat Hat.
  • Leona Sung from Hong Kong, sister of Ed Sung, see the September 22, 1961 issue of The Flat Hat, p. 13.
  • Olivia and Isabella Lam from Hong Kong, see the March 30, 1962 issue of The Flat Hat.

Student organizations

Review the Student Organizations Collection, University Archives Subject File Collection, the Colonial Echo, and The Flat Hat for more organizations that may not be listed here.

Asia and Africa Society

Asian-American Student Conference

Asian Student Council

Asian Student Union

Chinese Students Association

East Asian Studies Association

Filipino American Student Association (FASA)-1991, constitution and by-laws on file with the university's Office of Student Activities.

Focus on Asian Cultures Emerging in Society (FACES)

Indian Cultural Association - founded 1991 (later the South Asian Student Association)

Indonesian Gamelan

Japanese Cultural Association-1996, first constitution written on February 27, 1997; records in the Special Collections Research Center

Korean-American Student Association (KASA) - founded 1984

South Asia Society

South Asian Student Association (SASA)

South-South East Asian Society (SSEAS)

Early Faculty and Staff

Also consult the list of Past Faculty

I-Kua Chou, Instructor in Government, 1948-51; Assistant Professor of Government, 1951-53; Associate Professor of Government, 1953-59; Professor of Government, 1959-65; On leave of absence, 1955-56, 1964-65.

Joseph Zung, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, 1961-1964; Associate Professor of Chemistry, 1964-1968.

Chonghan Kim, Visiting Assistant Professor of Government, 1964-1965; Assistant Professor of Government, 1965-1966; Associate Professor of Government, 1966-1970; Professor of Government, 1970-1992; Professor of Government, Emeritus, 1992.

Kee Il Choi, Assistant Professor of Economics, 1965-1968; Associate Professor of Economics, 1968-1970.

Satoshi Ito Instructor in Sociology and Anthropology, 1965-1966; Assistant Professor of Sociology, 1966-1971; Associate Professor of Sociology, 1971-2002; Professor Emeritus, 2003.

Sung Bok Kim, Assistant Professor of History, 1968-1971.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

  • Student Organizations Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • University Archives Subject File Collection (see especially the folders "Students--Foreign" and "Students--Minorities"), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • University Archives Poster Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • Search for additional material in the SCRC Collections Database.
  • Colonial Echo
  • The Flat Hat

In the News



Need help?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at spcoll@wm.edu or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at William & Mary.

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.