“You can go fast alone, but you can go far only when together”
Korea University President Jaeho Yeom emphasizes the social good of living in harmony and empathizing with others
The 111th Korea University Graduation Ceremony
Korea University held its 111th graduation ceremony in the Tiger Dome at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
4,367 undergraduate and 2,124 graduate students received their degrees at the ceremony.
President Jaeho Yeom said in his congratulatory remarks that “Your studies at KU must have made you a fine intellectual, but it also must have taught you that going to college is far from being the end, but one of the benchmarks in your life. University is neither a warehouse of all knowledge in the world nor a shortcut to success, but a place to reflect on endless questions that remain unanswered – that is why we should realize that developing wisdom is far more important than gaining knowledge. I hope you keep improving your tacit knowledge so that you get to know yourself through thought-provoking conversations and discussions, rather than explicit knowledge that you pick up from lectures and textbooks.” He also added that “Since the dawn of this century, the world that you are about to encounter outside the campus has been changing faster than ever. Never forget that empathy for others is one of the key virtues that you want to cultivate for the times to come. The 21st century requires social abilities like it, not just cognitive ones gained through specialized knowledge. Most of what we are intellectually and physically capable of doing will be replaced by science and technologies – represented by computers, AI, and robots. But what we are socially capable of doing – cooperation and feeling empathy – is never replaceable, which will allow those who have those abilities to shine even brighter.”
He also remarked that “You the KU alumni have cultivated the KU values of Liberty, Justice, and Truth in addition to what you majored in, which fulfills the needs of this century and the world. I hope you make your dreams come true. I am, as your teacher and fellow graduate of KU, certainly proud of you, but also concerned for you – just as parents whose kids leave them. Now you go ahead and deal with pressing matters as pioneering intellectuals. And keep in mind that life is not a solo project, but more of a group project. Never be selfish, and contribute to society with the slogan “Gong-Seon-Sa-Hu (公先私後; Putting the Public Ahead of Personal Gain),” quoting an African saying “You can go fast alone, but you can go far only when together.” President Yeom also encouraged the graduates to thank their families and professors, friends, and other beloved ones and wished all the best for them.
The Chairman of the Korea University Foundation Jae Ho Kim said in his congratulatory remarks that “You’ve learned and practiced what you need to become global leaders. You need to embrace bigger dreams to stand out as true global leaders and to achieve your goals. No matter how big your dreams are, you can make them real as long as you keep taking steps forward. Keep learning, discovering what you are good at, and trying the untried with new ideas and confidence.” Kim also said that “Things can go in directions that you never wanted them to. Sometimes, you might end up in a blind alley. But I have confidence in you – that you will overcome anything you face, and march forward to the new future. Let your dreams and passion make the world a better place and let the history of KU flourish.”
The Chief Vice-Chairman of the KU Alumni Association In Kim advised the graduates to serve the communities to which they belong and not just their own interests. “You deserve to be the best global leaders – you should be proud of yourselves for that. Korea University, with its 113th Anniversary this year, has been the birthplace of prominent figures that have led the history of the nation, and the square of creative minds,” Kim said, “The society is guaranteed a brighter future as long as you live as free and just men and women who follow the light of truth with confidence. Wherever you go, be a KU graduate and realize your dreams.”
The Chairman of SK Holdings and a KU alumnus Tae Won Choi also shared his heart with the graduates. “To become truly happy, you need your own standards, not others’. Commit yourself to what you believe is worth committing to. Be just, pursue the truth. Create and share happiness with the KU values of liberty, justice, and truth in your mind,” said Choi, “When you pursue wealth, fame, and authority, I hope, you pursue them for the good of the society, not just yourself because the happier your community becomes, the happier you become.”
Sohyun Bae (’14, Division of Life Sciences) delivered her valedictorian speech on behalf of the graduates. “Students from different backgrounds become one within the campus of Korea University. We get weary once in a while in this world that’s tougher than ever but hit the ground running and move forward thanks to our friends and families who are always out there to support us. Now, another season is coming to campus. May our upcoming innovations be the light to guide us in the life journey where we respect and support each other.”
In celebration of its 111th Anniversary in 2016, Korea University created a symbol for each college that reflects its history, traditions, values, icons, and names. Since 2017, Korea University distributed stoles to graduates that bear these symbols.