New scholarship at Auburn University honors memory of Chinese couple

AUBURN – Auburn University has created a new scholarship to honor the memories of two graduate students who died nearly a decade ago. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a Chinese student in the Graduate School.

The Chen-Wu Graduate Fellowship Award honors Auburn graduate student Changqing Chen and his wife, Yi Wu, who were found slain in their off-campus apartment May 29, 2000. Chen was a graduate student in textile engineering, while Wu was set to begin graduate studies in electrical engineering that summer.

The Changqing Chen and Yi Wu Scholarship Memorial Fund was initiated following the deaths and was recently merged into the Auburn Family Graduate Assistantships Endowment.

“This is a very nice way to honor the students’ memories and to assist a current graduate student at Auburn,” said George Flowers, dean of the Graduate School. “We will be able to fund a full or partial graduate fellowship through the scholarship for years to come.”

Yaun Tian, a Ph.D. student in computer science and software engineering, has been chosen as the first recipient of the $1,000 scholarship, which will be presented during the Oct. 20-21 visit of the Chinese ambassador, Wenzhong Zhou, to Auburn University.

Tian earned a master’s degree in computer science from Auburn and a bachelor’s degree in information engineering from Chengdu University of Technology in Chengdu, China. She served as a graduate teaching assistant at Auburn from August 2006 until December 2008. She was also president of the Auburn University Chinese Student and Scholar Organization for the 2007 academic year, working as a bridge between the Chinese and local communities.

The scholarship requires the recipient be a People’s Republic of China citizen, be enrolled in the graduate program at Auburn University for at least the past year and have a G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher.

The applicants also had to submit a brief resume, two recommendations from his or her graduate committee and documentation of service to the Chinese community at Auburn.

(Contributed by Natalie Nettles.)

Contact George Flowers, (334) 844-2125 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (