KU celebrates Crimson Honors Club Day
Korea University invited its large benefactors to share its development vision and to publicly report how donations have been used.
Korea University invited its largest benefactors to attend a ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the school’s Crimson Honors Club Day.
Korea University established its Capital Planning Division in March 2015 to break free from existing approaches to donation by systematically organizing fundraising and to pay respect to donors. Since then, the Department has strived to generate new fundraising methods such as hosting special events like Scholarship Donor Appreciation Night. In particular, the Crimson Honors Club was formed to recognize those who have donated over 1 billion won and to offer them special programs and invitational events organized by the University.
Korea University also made a special emblem for the Crimson Honors Club to increase the self-esteem of Club members and to remind them of the meaning of their donations. Byung Hyun Yoo, Vice President for Capital Planning said, “We cherish every line of the stories told by our Crimson Honors Club members. I hope this emblem will become a symbol of sharing like that of the Tocqueville Society, a famous donation society in the US. Hopefully, it will become something that KU students as well as our society will show their respect to.”
As the beginning of a long journey to build a respected club, Korea University invited Crimson Honors Club members to witness the unveiling of an unprecedented digital installation at the opening ceremony of the KU Digital Donor’s Wall on Nov. 23, 2017. The wall is the largest such wall among universities in Korea and is expected to make donation a more rewarding and satisfactory experience for Club members as it contains their donation details, photos, and special messages to the school in digital format. In addition, the wall also plays video clips showing the history of donation and the spirit of sharing, which is expected to function as a digital education platform. The construction of the wall was supported by Ki-seok Park, a KU alumnus and CEO of SIGONGtech Co., Ltd. At the time, he expressed the purpose of his donation, saying that he hoped the currently enrolled students would learn lessons from the video clips playing on the wall and take one of the donors as their role model.
This year, the ceremony was comprised of several programs to walk the ceremony attendees through the history of Korea University and its developments. The programs included the digital donor’s wall presentation, a tour of the Korea University Museum, and a ceremony to award appreciation plaques at a gala dinner hosted by the President of Korea University.
In particular, the tour of the KU Museum, which was Korea’s first university museum, proves that Korea University has a special interest in and expresses additional respect to key figures in the art and culture industries. A museum curator led the attendees on a tour of the museum approximately 100,000 exhibits, including artifacts related to the University’s history, contemporary art pieces, and national treasures like the Honcheonsigye, an astronomical clock created in 1669.
The ceremony was honored by the presence of Yeong-il Ahn, CEO of Shin Dong Hae International; Ji-Dam Yoo, former Supreme Court Justice; Hee Jae Park, professor at Seoul National University; Jeong Mook Kim, director of a hospital for internal diseases, and 26 other important donors.
Korea University President, Jae ho Yeom, expressed his sincere gratitude to donors. “The moment of receiving donation certainly holds a great significance, but how to spend it afterwards carries a lot more meaning to me. We will continue to inform our donors of the developments we have made and share our visions. We will of course report to them on how their donations have been used. This, I believe, is one of the ways we express our appreciation for their support.”
To keep the donors informed of the University’s developments and how their donations are being used, the Capital Planning Division plans to hold another event for all Crimson Honors Club members and several smaller events in the second half of this year.
Furthermore, KU will appoint donors whose cumulative donations exceed 1 billion won as members of the Crimson Honors Club.
▲ Crimson Honors Club Emblem: Laurel leaves surround the original Korea University UI to symbolize the respect paid to donors. A ribbon decorates the bottom of the emblem as if the emblem is a gift presented to the donors.
Meanwhile, the University also recognizes donors who join the fundraising movement even if the amount of their donation is small. Similar to foreign universities or NGOs that place great emphasis on small, but regular donations, Korea University sees a great potential in such donations. In fact, it is those donations that shape the foundation for a new donation culture. For those who make small donations on a regular basis, including the KU Pride Club members, the University has various offers such as the KUPC Wednesday Health Forum, regular invitations to the KU Alumni orchestra concert, free weekend parking passes, and access to the KU Pride Club lounge.
Since May 5, 2015, when Korea University commemorated its 110th anniversary, the University has held a donation campaign known as KU Pride Club, which encourages everyone from KU alumni to ordinary citizens to make small donations of 10,000 won or more each month. These funds are used to financially support currently enrolled students in the form of scholarships. Each year, more than 1,000 KU students get a chance to take back time ‘stolen’ by their part-time jobs and focus on their schoolwork. Furthermore, what the University can offer does not stay within the country.
In fact, a total of 117 students were selected as KU Pride Club exchange students from the second semester of 2016 to the second semester of 2018, including those who are scheduled to be sent to study abroad soon. These students can choose which continent and university to stay and study at. So far, 55 students went to Europe, 27 to North America, 22 to Asia, 11 to Central and South America, and two to Oceania, seeking better opportunities and diverse experiences. The funds they received were calculated based on the actual expenses they spent for airfare, local accommodation fees, living expenses, etc. On average, approximately 10 million won was granted to each KU Pride Club exchange student.
Within four months of launching the campaign, the number of donors exceeded 1,000. As of May 16, 2018, three years after the launch, a total of 4,229 donors have opened 14,121 donation accounts, with approximately 4.1 billion won raised in total.
Korea University will continue to exert its utmost effort to satisfy all donors who have continued to support the University and its students. Meanwhile, the University will devote itself to the settlement of donation culture and to the dissemination of the spirit of sharing.