Virginia Tech®home

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 Charles 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.

Zoom In with the Yates Society

Zoom in with the Yates Society as we zoom in on the real life experiences students have at Virginia Tech.

In collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Scholars from the Yates Society invite you to a series of student panels right in your home! This three part student panel series will explore our experiences on Why VT, COVID-19, and how Major Matters. Remember you need to register for each event separately that you would like to attend. More information provided upon registration and as we get closer to the date.

Zoom in with the Yates Society as we discuss the new-normal as in COVID-19. Education and school as we know it has been completely flipped upside down to adhere to the global pandemic that is COVID-19. Join us as we zoom in on our real life experiences adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic at Virginia Tech.

Zoom in with the Yates Society as we discuss how important Major truly Matters. Finding the right major is hard, and we want to help you in that decision. Join us as we zoom in on our journeys to finding the right major at Virginia Tech.