Ying Wu, a graduate student studying electrical engineering known for her love of learning, died April 11 in a shooting west of campus. She was 23.
Wu’s friend, Ming Qu, was also killed in the assault.
Wu, a native of the Hunan province of China, lived with a host family, who considered her a member of their family since she began living with them in June 2011.
Jacqueline Hamilton, Wu’s host mother, described Wu as being extremely modest, determined and studious.
“She was a very determined young woman who enjoyed cooking and spent a lot of time in the library,” Hamilton said at a press conference on Friday. “[Wu and Qu] were modest students trying to make a life for themselves and achieve the promise that they saw available to them through a good education.”
Hamilton said Wu and Qu were extremely close friends who spent most of their free time together and were growing closer in the weeks leading up to her death.
“Sometimes they’d sit on the porch and talk for a half an hour or more because I think they were really getting to like each other a lot and couldn’t bear to part,” Hamilton said. “She had a smile on her face for the last several weeks that hard studying didn’t put there.”
Jing Ye, one of Wu’s close friends and a graduate student studying electrical engineering, said Wu loved to read and learn.
“[Wu] would enjoy studying so much that [she was] always working in the library day and night, so others always refer to [her] as a seed planted in the library,” Ye said. “When a friend who was coming back from China asked what [she] would like, [she] said books.”
Ye said Wu will be remembered as a kind, hard-working and emotional person, who cared deeply about those around her.
“[Wu] would not give up or complain when facing challenges. After receiving an undesirable testing result, [she] said that [she] would work even harder,” Ye said. “[She] loved life so much. [She] said that [one] should treasure time and fulfill life with meaning. [Wu] always woke up early in the morning, not willing to waste every minute.”