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The Yates Society

What is the Yates Society?

The Yates Society is a re-envisioning of The Yates Project, which was founded in 2005 and honors Charlie L. Yates, the first African American graduate of Virginia Tech. Yates graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1958, earned a master’s degree at Cal Tech, and earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. Later in his professional journey, he returned to Virginia Tech as a professor and eventually a member of the Board of Visitors. In 2003, Virginia Tech dedicated a residence hall, Peddrew-Yates, to Yates and Irving Peddrew, the first African American student at Virginia Tech. For questions, contact us at

Meet our Yates Scholars!

our mission

To support the enrichment of Virginia Tech’s student body through outreach, engagement, and recruitment efforts, aligning with Virginia Tech’s mission of access and inclusion as a global land-grant institution. By working directly with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Yates Scholars will provide prospective students with a connection to the campus community and participate in personal reflection of their own Virginia Tech experience.

Charlie Lee Yates

Charlie Lee Yates
Charlie Lee Yates

Who We Are

The Yates Society, comprised of 50 Scholars, provides current students the opportunity to conduct recruitment visits in their hometowns during school breaks and participate in all recruitment events offered through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. These Yates Scholars receive stipends at the end of the school year. The Yates Scholars exemplify what Virginia Tech students are known for – academic excellence, leadership, and service. As Yates Scholars, these students are committed to contributing to a more diverse and inclusive student body at Virginia Tech through their participation in The Yates Society. In return, The Yates Society will provide advocacy, support, and personal development opportunities to the Scholars.

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