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KU’s 114th anniversary and KU Alumni Day
  • Writer : Communications Team
  • Hits : 1824
  • Date : 2019-05-15

KU anniversary transformed into a local festival

KU’s 114th anniversary and KU Alumni Day


“I was not sure about where I should take my kids on Children’s Day. We live in the neighborhood, so it was easy to come here. Thanks to the events held at KU, we had a lot of fun today. We also enjoyed ice-skating for free in this hot weather, so my kids are just so happy,” said Donggil Yun (35), a Seongbuk-gu resident who visited Korea University on May 5 with his two children.


Neighborhood resident Youngsun Jo (39) brought her family to the campus on the holiday. She said, “Coming to KU today killed two birds with one stone since we enjoyed a band performance and got career and study counseling. We also had a tasty free lunch at the cafeteria. I haven’t been to a university campus for nearly ten years, and now I feel like a student again.”



May 5 is the anniversary of Korea University and Children’s Day. Korea University and the Korea University Alumni Association both hosted events to celebrate KU’s 114th anniversary as well as other various events that local residents could join. With the aim of playing its social role and making the most of its social characteristics, KU extended the events beyond the school by opening its campus and inviting local residents to participate in its various programs. More than three thousand people including KU members and local residents took part.



Starting at 10 in the morning, diverse programs aimed at children and families were offered, mainly in the Central Plaza and the Museum. Events included free access to the ice rink; sports with the six sports clubs; a KU anniversary campus photo contest; finding the Museum kkaebis; free food at the cafeteria; one-to-one career and study counseling; virtual graduation pictures; a bazaar and farmers’ market; a food court; a small concert featuring local residents; a campus tour; a bouncy castle, and an air pool.


Student members of KU athletic clubs helped children play baseball, basketball, ice hockey, and soccer including women’s soccer. The ice rink was free of charge, enabling people to experience winter sports.


Free food was provided at the cafeteria with funds raised by the KU Pride Club, a club for regular small sum donations.


The KU Alumnae Association prepared a bazaar, a farmers’ market and a food court. They attracted people’s attention by selling goods of high quality at low prices. All the profits will be used for residents of Seongbuk-gu who are in need or donated to a scholarship fund for KU students. In order to help those who have been victimized by the big fire in Gosung-gun, the Alumnae Association also sold local products of Gosung-gun. Many people participated in the charity event, which made it more meaningful. In March, the KU Alumnae Association and Gosung-gun signed a trade pact with the aim of increasing the sales of agricultural and marine products of Gosung-gun.


In addition, KU graduates and currents students joined hands in an exciting performance that featured a cappella club LOGS, jazz club Jass, the KU cheering squad, alumnae association Teamdoota, a united alumni band, a united Crimson alumni band, pungmul band KU84, and a cheering squad comprised of graduates from the entrance class of 1988. On the open stage KU students and graduates and the local residents enjoyed their time together and communicated with one another through music.


In addition to the various programs for children and families, the Office of Admissions offered one-to-one study and career counseling. KU admission officers introduced KU’s departments and majors and talked about life on campus. They also gave helpful details about university entrance.


▲ Jayeol Koo, President of the KU Alumni Association, SeKyun Chung, 

former Speaker of the National Assembly, and Sangil Lee, the chairman of Iljin


On Sunday May 5, Korea University and the Korea University Alumni Association held events to celebrate the university’s 114th anniversary and the KU Alumni Day at KU Inchon Memorial Hall.


At the celebration, the following awards were presented: the Proud Alumni Award, the Special Achievement Award, the Crimson Award (Advancement Achievement Award), the KU Pride Club Award, the Social Service Award, the Achievement Award, the Seoktap Outstanding Lecture Award, the Seoktap Research Award, the Seoktap Technology Award, the Employee Achievement Award, the KU Family Award, the Long-term Service Award and the Role Model Award.


▲ Long-term Service Award recipients


▲ Seoktap Outstanding Lecture Award, Research Award, and Technology Award recipients


▲ Innovative Lecture Award recipients


▲ The representative of the Employee Achievement Award recipients


▲ Proxy for the Crimson Award recipient


▲ Social Service Award recipients


▲ Role Model Award recipients

▲ KU Pride Club Award recipients


▲ Achievement Award recipients


▲ KU Family Award recipients


The Proud Alumni Award was presented to Sangil Lee, the chairman of Iljin (’57, Commercial Science), and Sekyun Chung, former Speaker of the National Assembly (’71, Law).


After graduating from the Department of Commercial Science in 1963, Mr. Lee served as the president of IljinSafe, the chairman of Hyundai Motor Company cooperation, the director of the Korea International Trade Association, the president of the KU Businessperson Association and the chairman of Iljin. With his outstanding management ability and global management philosophy, he has fully carried out corporate social responsibility and duties. He has enhanced the national prestige by transforming Iljin to a leading company in the global bearing market based on more than thirty years of experience in the industry. Lee has also showed his deep affection for KU and made numerous donations to his alma mater. He donated a hundred pine trees to the university to commemorate its centennial in 2005 and contributed to building LG-POSCO Hall, Hyundai Motor Hall and dormitories for KU students abroad.


SeKyun Chung, former Speaker of the National Assembly, began his law degree at KU in 1971. He served as a student reporter for the KU newspaper and was the president of students’ union. He helped KU members to interact with one another, and played a leading role in Korea’s pro-democracy movement. After graduating, he worked for a corporation and eventually entered politics. A six-term lawmaker, Mr. Chung served as the Minister of Commerce Industry and Energy, as a party representative, as a floor leader, as a party leader, and as a speaker of the National Assembly, Korea’s head of legislature. He dedicated himself to making the National Assembly more practical and supportive. As a company director, politician and administrator, he has demonstrated his uniquely gentle but charismatic and enterprising leadership style and contributed to national development. He has also raised funds for KU scholarship and actively participated in various KU events including a 30-year class reunion for the entering class of 1971.


At the event, the Cham Award for medical service, in the category of the Special Achievement Award, was given to the late alumnus Sewon Lim who showed the ultimate sacrifice in treating patients, passing away in an unexpected accident on December 31 last year.


As a professor in the field of Mental Health Medicine in Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Dr. Lim (’90, Medicine), developed a suicide prevention training program and a program that analyzes people’s stress and mental health. He was an authority on treatment for depression and anxiety disorder, and made a great contribution to people’s mental health. Lim, who passed away due to an unexpected accident, tried to save his colleagues in the face of danger, showing the spirit of sacrifice even in an emergency situation. The Korean medical community recollected Dr. Lim’s noble spirit during a special memorial period, and his death spurred momentum to enact legislation for the safety of medical workers. Dr. Lim dedicated his life to patients and tried to rescue others until his very last moment. On behalf of its 330 thousand alumni, KU awarded him the Cham Award for medical service to inspire young KU students to inherit the spirit of noble sacrifice. Dr. Lim will remain in the history of the KU Alumni Association.


The Crimson Award (Advancement Achievement Award), which was established to honor those who continuously contribute to the advancement of KU, was awarded to the late Munchi Lee.


Munchi Lee, not a KU graduate, is a philanthropist from Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do Province. He willed his entire fortune to KU in March, 2017, and passed away in September, 2018. When writing his testament, he recalled how he had not been able to attend middle school due to his family’s financial difficulties. He mentioned that he hoped KU students would study and fulfill their dreams, and would not have to worry about tuition fees or living expenses. He just left his name, and donated all his property including the house he had lived in. Thanks to the Mr. Lee’s generous donation, 43 students of College of Engineering have received scholarships since 2017, with student scholarship planned for the next twenty years.


The KU Pride Club Award, established in 2017, honors individuals and groups who have contributed to the development and expansion of the KU Pride Club, a venue for regular small sum donation. This year, the Alumni Association of Judicial Officers and 83 Harmony Choir were selected as recipients. As of May 2019, more than 5,100 donators, including KU faculty and staff, students and their parents, graduates, and the general public, registered and donated about KRW 600 million through 16,000 accounts. Donations accumulated through the campaign are used as scholarships for 500 students’ living expenses every semester and for more than 150 exchange students. KU Pride Club funds are also used for the ‘Heart-full Breakfast’ business that provides students morning meals for just KRW 1,000.


Among the professors who lectured to undergraduate students in the second semester of 2018, 132 who were ranked in the top 5% on student lecture evaluations at the end of the semester received the Seoktap Outstanding Lecture Award. In addition, the Seoktap Technology Award was given to the top seven researchers who contributed greatly in technology transfer in the previous year, and the Seoktap Research Award to 49 faculty members whose research achievements in the previous year reached the top 3%. Two faculty members who offered differentiated lectures were given the Innovative Lecture Award.



Jaeho Kim, the chairman of the board of Korea Choongang Educational Foundation, stated, “KU families have played a leading role in making changes every crucial moment of Korean history, and even now, they are responsibly carrying out their duties as great leaders in many different fields. Thanks to KU alumni families’ insight and efforts and the dedication of current faculty and staff, KU has been able to carry the philosophy of its foundation into action. Performing our social roles in this rapidly changing world is our responsibility and vocation.” He continued, “With the new KU President, we are making a fresh step forward this year. We are carrying forward “education innovation” that cultivates creative individuals for the future, “research innovation” that develops the research capacity, which is the fundamental responsibility of a university, and “administrative innovation” that supports education and research in a more effective and specialized way. We all need to dedicate ourselves to make these ideas lead to actual results. It won’t be easy, but it is still possible if we cooperate and move forward step by step.”



Before the luncheon, KU President Jintaek Chung said, “KU is the most prestigious private university in Korea, and is now aiming to enter the ranks of the top 50 universities in the world. This achievement was not accomplished naturally. It was only possible thanks to the noble ideology of foundation of KU, former KU presidents’ excellent leadership, and, above all, KU faculty and staff’s love and dedication. I am grateful for the three million Koreans who gave donations for the library construction in the 1930s, and for all those who make donations every crucial moment and give constant support to KU inside and outside the country. Chung stated, “History and tradition shine brighter when people cherish and develop them. We are now passing through the unprecedented Fourth Industrial Revolution, period of a major paradigm shift. We need to shed light on the future society by playing a central role and giving direction in this unforeseeable turbulent era. That is our only way to repay KU alumni and the Korean people, whose love and support for KU made its great development possible.” He continued, “In order to meet the demands of the modern age, KU will foster students and help them acquire wide knowledge, on the basis of critical and divergent thinking, from mandatory courses to the major-related courses . KU will also guide students to have strong will, that is derived from intellectual curiosity, desire to advance and spirit of challenge, to improve themselves. Moreover, KU will offer various programs that will help students become more open-minded so that they will be more cooperative, and more willing to contribute to our future society. In short, KU will cultivate creative well-rounded individuals who are knowledgeable, who have a will to improve themselves, and who are willing to dedicate to the future society.”


Chung added, “In today’s society, whether someone creates something new faster and better than others determines success. Replication and reproduction will bring us to the failure of latecomers. In order to play a leading role in this era of rapid change, we need to come up with new values on the basis of theories and ideas that did not exist in the past. “Creative KU” is not just empty words but an important mission we should carry out. KU will make creative changes in all aspects including lectures, researches and administrations. In order for all these to contribute to better human lives and society, it is also highly important to respect people, who are the subject and the object of academic development and technological advance. Please put people first and cooperate with each other, and the flower of your creativity will bloom beautifully. “Creative KU,” “People’s KU” and “Cooperative KU” are all connected to one another in that manner.” He also explained that KU seniors, 114 years ago, fought against Japanese imperialism and tried to save the country through education. He suggested making new twenty first century’s KU history together with its slogans, “Creative KU,” “People’s KU” and “Cooperative KU.”



Jayeol Koo, the president of the KU Alumni Association said, “114 years of KU history does not only belong to KU itself. From 1905, the year of its foundation, to now, KU has been the leading private university in Korea, and the cradle of fostering individuals who lead Korean modern history.


I am proud that many talented people from KU have taken on the central role every historic moment. 330,000 KU graduates always have been proud leaders in the path. Even in the current era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the people of KU will play a core role in making changes in the society, with their special characteristics, namely the firm power of execution.” Koo continued, “From the beginning, the KU Alumni Association was with KU professors, and until now it has been cooperating with KU in harmony. The name of it implies that we would become friends with all of those related to KU. We are here today to celebrate KU’s 114th anniversary with KU, the KU Alumni Association and all the people who care for and love KU. We are also here today, with the KU President Jintaek Chung and KU families, to reestablish our determination. I would like to congratulate the awardees today, and I hope for the happiness of all KU families, and for the constant development of KU and KU Alumni Association.”

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