Korea University holds 2019 entrance ceremony
KU President JinTaek Chung’s advice to use creative reasoning and accept new challenges with an open mind and no fear: “I hope you can become talents who can celebrate failure.”
Congratulatory message from executive director MyungBo Hong, “The process of failing is also the process of living,” recommending deciding one’s standard of life through experiencing many things
On Monday, March 4th at 10:30 AM, Korea University held its entrance ceremony for the 2019 school year at its Tiger Dome, which was packed with approximately 7,000 students and parents.
KU President JinTaek Chung started his speech, “How you spend your college years will hugely impact your life afterwards, and as such these years are an important and decisive time. Unlike the basics of being human that we learn in primary and secondary education, higher education holds the goal of raising proper members of society by teaching professional and economic competency and other necessary skills for people to play their role in society. Thus, if your dream is to be active not just in Korea but also in the international community, college is where you’ll receive training to reach that goal. On the one hand, college can be a very liberating place. Unlike in elementary, middle, and high school, in college, you must decide and act on everything autonomously. This freedom is useful in increasing creativity and productivity, but on the other hand, it can also lead to living in overindulgence or infringing on others’ freedom. Therefore, freedom’s value shines brightest when coupled with responsibility.” He continued, “The world is currently caught in a vortex of change that makes it difficult to see what’s ahead. Existing law and order are being uprooted in a literal paradigm shift. The world no longer guarantees success in life for entering a prestigious university through difficult study and patience as it did in your parents’ generation. To lead the successful life you all want, the title of ’KU student’ is no longer enough.” He also offered the new KU students three points of advice.
First, he advised the students to think differently than others, and make different plans from others. In other words, he emphasized raising a one-of-a-kind competitiveness. He warned that while the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” knowledge is not enough on its own anymore, so it is important to use knowledge and handle it well to differentiate oneself from others. For this reason, creativity and innovation are also vital for the individual. He entreated students to not be tied down by prejudices or stereotypes, and to use creative thinking to progress in the direction of truth.
Secondly, he recommended an open mind and open thoughts. He stated that as the world enters the era of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, integration and convergence will make significant progress when cultivating diverse knowledge that goes beyond academic boundaries and create value that has yet to be discovered. He emphasized that one must be able to work together with people from different backgrounds, with different thoughts and cultures.
Finally, he suggested students practice pioneering attempts without fear. President Chung said that there is nothing much to gain without experiencing failure and frustration. He added that there is nothing meaningless in this world. While people are delighted by success, they feel despair and pain from failure, which will help prepare them for any future attempts. He said that, since such experiences of failure make people stronger and more competent, students should not be afraid of failure but try to enjoy it. It is better for students to be grateful for the opportunity to make up for their failures and to have more precious experiences of failure during their school years. He closed his speech saying, “Please plan towards your own dream while studying and thinking as much as you want at KU. Dance to your hearts’ content with KU as your stage.”
At this matriculation ceremony, as a graduate from KU, executive director of the Korea Football Association MyungBo Hong (’87, Physical Education) gave a speech for the new students. He said, “Seeing the new students gathered here today reminds me of my college years. The entrance ceremony was held at the main sports field of the central plaza. I dreamt of entering Korea University when I was a high school student, just like you. When I finally wore my KU uniform, I was as happy as if I had been handed the entire world. Although I was able to achieve my goal, I do have regrets about my college life. Like most athletes, I was so confined to athletic training and activities that I missed the opportunity to have various experiences. While working as a football player or a coach in other countries, I came to the profound realization that I was trapped in a small well. You are now able to enjoy more freedom compared to your high school years. It is entirely up to you how you spend your college years. Grades and employment are important, but I hope you can have experiences and memories that you will never forget or regret for the rest of your life, even during just the first two years at college.” He continued, “While serving as an executive director, I often contemplate on what kind of people are needed at work. I think that society demands people who can coordinate opinions between individuals and who can listen to others based on the mindset of treating others with care and respect. This personality can never be nurtured through study. I hope that you can have the chance of visiting and experiencing places all around the world, and in that process, you can make a decision on how to live your life.” He concluded his speech by advising, “It is not easy not to be afraid of failure, but I hope that you can see failure as a process of growth and overcome the various difficulties that the world will present to you.”
In order to celebrate the matriculation of new students, TERRA, a music club at KU, held a delightful performance.
In addition, prior to the main ceremony, the KU cheerleading club prepared a passionate cheer that the new students could participate in, and everyone cheered each other on together.
HyunJu Song (’19, Division of Life Sciences), who attended the ceremony, said, “It’s my first day as a KU student, and it’s the entrance ceremony. It’s a really momentous day for me, and I’ll remember it forever.” ChanOong Park, who newly entered the Department of Political Science & International Relations, said, “I realized that my college life has started in earnest at the entrance ceremony. It was a good experience and I feel proud of being a KU student.”