Cheng Yuan “James” Hong

Even a gentle breeze has conviction. “Let hatred be gone with the wind,” said Cheng Yuan “James” Hong, who was kind in the most determined way.

He became a vegetarian in third grade “not because of religion, but because he cannot bear to harm another living creature,” said his brother. Friends and teachers recalled James as shy, gentle and reserved. He was hard-working, smart, honest and fiercely willing to help others, without expecting anything in return.

James, who grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, graduated in 2012 from Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California. While in high school he volunteered at the Rainbow Chinese School in Cupertino. James liked tinkering around with anything electronic or mechanical, and at UCSB, he was studying Computer Engineering. He taught at a computer company in Taiwan and China, and participated in a programming marathon sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

When James wasn’t in front of a computer at UCSB, he liked to play table tennis. James’ years at UCSB were “the happiest time in his life,” his parents said.

A resident assistant at Tropicana Del Norte dorm, where James lived his freshman year, said, “James brought a powerful positive energy to the lives of the people around him. He was very outgoing, always willing to get involved and lend a hand. He tutored several of his fellow residents, and any event at the dorms felt incomplete without James and his contagious laugh. We lost a defining part of our community when we lost James.”

We Remember Them Room
Cheng Yuan “James” Hong