“I wish to contribute to the noble cause of fostering new leading engineering professionals”
Anonymous donations encourage subsequent anonymous donations
An anonymous gentleman donates a pine tree, worth millions of Korean Won, to recognize the establishment of the Lee Munchi scholarship
“I wish to contribute to the noble cause of developing new leading engineering professionals.”
Anonymous donations for Korea University have encouraged many others to make subsequent donations anonymously, forming a virtuous donation cycle.
In 2017, Lee Munchi, who was then just about to turn 80 years old, donated all his assets to Korea University in order to aid young engineers who will lead the nation and its communities. Lee, who has no connections with KU at all, made his first donation to KU as part of his long-standing wish to be able to spend his fortunes meaningfully. As he learned about charitable bequest during the process of the donation, he also decided to transfer, immediately upon his death, the entirety of his assets, including his own apartment and bank savings, to KU, which amounts to over one billion Korean Won.
KU offered to invite him to a ceremony, which was never held because Mr. Lee never “want[ed] to let the world know [his] deed except for [his] name and [his] name only.” KU, in response, established the Lee Munchi Scholarship, a full scholarship endowed to engineering majors of academic excellence – guaranteed until they graduate.
Born in Cheongyang, Southern Chungcheong Province, Lee Munchi said of his motivation behind the donations that “I had to do just any job I could do to make a living since I came to Seoul as a little child. My family was so poor that I barely could do my middle school studies. I hope that students can work toward their dream goals without being worried about tuition fees and living expenses. Also, I think that developing quality man-power is the key to a wealthier nation and a richer society. Korea University has successfully done the job, as I recently heard its achievements. I believe that Korea University will continue to get the job done well.”
Learning about Mr. Lee’s donation to KU, an anonymous businessman offered to donate a pine tree, worth millions of Korean Won, to recognize and commemorate his noble cause. KU decided to plant the tree in front of the College of Engineering Building.
The KU College of Engineering awarded 11 students the Lee Munchi Scholarship at a ceremony held on Friday, April 27, at 4 p.m. Professor Jin Taek Chung, Dean of the College of Engineering, emphasized the meaning of the scholarship and advised the awardees to contribute to their communities as Mr. Lee did.
The pine tree, donated by an anonymous donor, was planted thereafter. Jun Young Choi (‘13, Mechanical Engineering) said “the most significant difference that the scholarship brought is that I spend much more time studying rather than working as a part-timer. Though I’ve never met Mr. Lee, I still feel his warm heart. I understand that the late Mr. Lee wanted to see with his own eyes the scholarship awardees become experts in their fields, making their dreams come true, and play major roles in developing the nation and communities in it. I promise him that I will live up to his wishes.”