Select Page

A “trailblazer in raising the voices of the Pan Asian community,” veteran Milton Academy teacher Vivian WuWong was honored last month at the Asian American Footsteps Conference (AAFC). The AAFC Advisory Group announced the establishment of the Vivian WuWong Pan-Asian Student Leadership Award. The inaugural award will be presented in 2025 to a “student or students that have made a positive impact on the Pan-Asian community at their school or the local, regional, or national level.” The honor recognizes all that Vivian has done to develop programs for Asian American and Asian international students and faculty. 

Ms. WuWong, a member of the History and Social Sciences Department, has taught at Milton for 32 years and will retire next month. An engaging teacher and lifelong advocate for underrepresented communities, Ms. WuWong’s work in organizing began when she was an undergraduate at Stanford University, where she and her peers in the Asian American Student Association established Stanford’s Asian American Activities Center and its first Asian American History course.  

At Milton, Ms. WuWong is beloved by students and colleagues alike; she advises Asian Society and has helped the school make meaningful connections with Asian and Asian American communities across Greater Boston and beyond. She has served as a respected department head, was honored with several Milton awards—the Hong Kong Chair in Asian Studies, the Lombard Chair for Excellence in Teaching Social Studies, and two Talbot Baker Awards for teaching. She is the impetus behind some time-honored campus traditions celebrating Asian cultures, including a day of dumpling-making in honor of Lunar New Year.

This year’s AAFC was hosted at the Governor’s Academy. Founded in 2011, the conference invites Asian-identifying students from independent schools across New England for a day of workshops, activities, and networking opportunities. This year’s theme was “Creating Our Narrative,” with workshops and speakers exploring “identity, culture, and ways to make an impact within our communities.” Ms. WuWong, along with Milton faculty members Tasha Otenti, Nicole Darling, Christina Wang, and John Lee, brought 19 students to this year’s conference. Seven Milton students led workshops on topics ranging from Asian pop culture and music to multilingualism, to exploring third-culture identity and experiences.

The Milton delegation at this year’s Asian American Footsteps Conference.

Ms. WuWong has been “a vital part of AAFC since its very beginning,” the advisory group shared. It started at Phillips Andover Academy in 2011 with about 100 students from 10 schools and has expanded to more than 500 students from 40 independent schools. 

Early in her career, Ms. WuWong worked as the first program director at the Asian American Resource Workshop in Boston’s Chinatown, where she helped organize Boston’s first city-wide celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Today, she is active in Boston’s Chinese Progressive Association and is co-chair of the Friends of the Chinatown Library; she is also helping to create an Immigrant History Trail for the Chinatown Community Land Trust