H.B. Yin ’50: An Enduring Journey of Commitment

Huo-Bing YinHuo-Bing Yin's acceptance to Syracuse University's College of Engineering and Computer Science came a mere three months before he was to report for class in the fall of 1948. This presented a seemingly insurmountable problem for the Shanghai, China, native, since all of the economy-class bookings for the ocean voyage to the United States were already sold out. In order to arrive in time to begin his first semester at Syracuse—where his cousin, Tony Yeh '49 was a student—the determined young man was a passenger on that ship. He traveled first class, even though it took almost all the money he had.

As he set sail across the Pacific Ocean, the impoverished student in posh accommodations met a young Chinese woman, also on her way to the United States to study. Romance blossomed on the high seas-in part, Yin often said jokingly, because the young woman, Lillian Wang, was impressed by his first-class passage.

"Of course, my uncle was being too modest," says George Yin, Huo-Bing's nephew. "But the problem of his sea voyage turned out to have a wonderful silver lining-he met the woman he would eventually marry."

H.B. Yin (as he was known throughout his life) graduated from Syracuse in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering. His thesis topic was microwave impedance measurements. After a lengthy courtship, Yin—who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956—and Lillian Wang were wed in 1957 and both went on to have successful careers. H.B. Yin was an engineer with RCA and IBM, holding a number of patents. Lillian Wang Yin, who earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, worked for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, serving two decades as director of the Reproductive, Abdominal, Ear, Nose, and Throat, and Radiological Devices Division.

In their leisure time, the couple enjoyed ballroom dancing and traveled widely. H.B. Yin excelled in bridge, earning enough master points to reach the highest levels of achievement in the game. In 1978, they suffered the tragic loss of their son, Daniel, 19, a pre-med student at Johns Hopkins University, who was killed in an automobile accident. Lillian Wang Yin died in 2000, H.B. Yin in 2010.

H.B.Yin's connection to Syracuse University was so strong that during his lifetime, he created two charitable gift annuities that would eventually endow a scholarship fund for engineering students. His estate bequest created a second endowed scholarship fund, also to benefit engineering students. In total, his gifts to the University amount to more than $2 million.

"My uncle loved his time at Syracuse," George Yin says. "He thought the campus was so beautiful and told stories of sliding down the hills when it snowed. With few contacts at Syracuse, other than his cousin (who later became a Syracuse Trustee), he was very grateful for the warm welcome he received from everyone at the University."

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