Mary Li Hsu, who nurtured Asian American life at Yale University, died on Nov. 8 after battling neuroendocrine cancer. Hsu was 63 and she passed away in her Manhattan home.
Hsu grew up in Seattle as the eldest daughter of a Northern Chinese immigrant family.
She entered Yale in 1976, when the Asian American population was so small that nearly every Asian American student knew each other. In 1992, Hsu was named director of the Asian American Cultural Center (AACC), which officially formed just a year after she graduated. Hsu was also the first AACC director to be simultaneously appointed as a Yale College assistant dean.
Under Hsu’s deanship, Yale College’s Asian American population grew to 15% of undergraduates—and currently sits at 25.4%.