Columbia Law School will rename its Center for Chinese Legal Studies in honor of Hong Yen Chang, who is believed to be the first Chinese immigrant licensed to practice law in the United States—a distinction he secured after a multiyear struggle to gain admittance to the bar in the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The renaming is tied to a successful $5 million endowment campaign for the center, which was led by former Alibaba Group General Counsel and Columbia graduate Tim Steinert and his wife, Lixia Zhang. Nearly 100 other donors also contributed to campaign, which will allow the center to expand its programming and continue to help develop Chinese Law scholars. The center—which was established in 1983 and was the first in the United States devoted to China Law—will now be called the Hong Yen Chang Center for Chinese Legal Studies.

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