Sean Wu and his dog

In Memory of Sean "Scooter" Wu

"Sean always used to brighten my day by saying this to me: 'For every minute you are sad, you lose sixty seconds of happiness'." - Meghan Razimoff on Sean Wu


The Sean Wu Memorial Scholarship was created in 2017 to honor the contributions Sean Wu (1998-2017) made to both the Bijou Film Board as well as the local Iowa City community.

About Sean Wu

Sean Hsiang Yang Wu was born Aug. 12, 1998, to Dr. David Wu and Una Yang in Phoenix, Ariz. He was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease at the age of 6, but never let the disease slow him down. Through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, he was able to meet President George W. Bush because he was obsessed with the United States presidency. He could name every president and first lady in order and knew all the fun facts.

Sean graduated as valedictorian from J.F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids in 2016. Some of his other achievements during his high school career included the following: class secretary for four years, National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, AP Scholar, and National History Day-National Competition Documentary for two years.

He worked at Mathnasium as an instructor that provided tutoring to students ranging from elementary to high school age. He enjoyed playing piano and violin with the school orchestra. He volunteered at UnityPoint Health for three years as a weekend receptionist. He also achieved Eagle Scout rank with the Boy Scouts of America.

Sean "Scooter" Wu began attending University of Iowa in 2016, class of 2020, and was on track to study English and Marketing. While Sean came to college with his brother and several close friends from high school, he met a lot of us through dorm life as well. The members of Daum Residence Hall, and especially those on floor 5, who lived across or down the hall from Sean, became very close throughout the year. Sean was the center of our community. Not only was he loved by everyone who met him, he was the Vice President of Associated Daum Hall, a volunteer at Film Scene (a local theatre), a member of a new and growing fraternity, a DJ at the campus radio station, and much more.

Sean's passions included watching films (he reviewed hundreds of films on his blog), listening to music (he was an avid fan of The Smiths, The Beach Boys, and Kanye West), playing Mario Kart, expressing himself with his goofy style, meeting new friends (he always knew so many people when we walked around campus), Twitter, playing four-square and wiffleball (specifically a passion, not a talent), singing karaoke (his favorite songs to perform were Ignition Remix, Take Me Out, and Gold Digger), and just having fun with his many close friends.

Sean passed away at the end of his freshman year, after leaving a lasting positive mark everywhere he went and on everyone he touched.

He is survived by his loving parents, Dr. David Wu and Una Yang; his twin brother, Austin; paternal grandmother, Dr. Chiu Hui Wu; and maternal grandmother, Mrs. Un Suk Yang.

In short, Sean was not only an incredible friend and peer, he was a successful student, important community member, and a role model to those who looked up to his kind, fun-loving personality.

Sean Wu taking a selfie

The one thing I appreciated about Sean the most was his consistent, bright, and positive personality. He was always the same person no matter who he was with, how well he knew you, or how his day was going. Everyday I could expect Sean to make me smile because that is just what he was able to do. He had so many more hearts left to touch before we lost him and that is why I believe it is important to keep his memory alive...

Roman Starkey

Sean always knew how to light up a room and did whatever he could to make us all the happiest we could be. Losing him was an absolute tragedy...

Sean Ruecker

You couldn't meet another person who was always so excited to live life.

Kayli Reese

If you think about it, half of us wouldn't even know each other if it weren't for Sean hanging out and making friends with everyone he met!

Devin Degen

Sean's passion and drive inspired those around him to be curious, kind, and confident in their own quirkiness... If more people channeled their inner Sean, this campus would be a better place.

Kit Fitzgerald on Sean Wu

Recipients of the Sean Wu Scholarship

  • Sal Goedken (2017-2018)
  • Emily Stagman (2018-2019)
  • Harry Westergard (2020-2021)
  • Orson Codd (2021-2022)
  • Kat Trout-Baron (2022-2023)
  • Dana Woolery (2023-2024)
  • Grace Pignolo (2024-2025)

Posts by Sean on the Bijou Blog:

Additional links