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KAIST Gets Biggest Single Donation of W57.8 Bil.

Posted August. 14, 2008 06:32,   


“We express our deep gratitude to the people in support of our reform will.”

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) Vice President Jang Sun-heung said Wednesday as he announced a huge donation made by Oriental medicine pioneer Ryu Geun-cheol.

“Ryu has long held his idea to contribute to the advancement of the nation’s science and technology, and decided to donate to KAIST after he learned from the media about our intensive reform programs, including a new tenure system designed to maintain global competitiveness,” Jang said.

“The donation is very encouraging in that it is a tangible response from the public over our education reform, not to mention their overall support for us.”

The donation is the largest in Korean history by an individual, and most importantly, came from a Korean national instead of foreigners or overseas Koreans.

The tech school has received several big donations over the past year. In September last year, Park Byeong-jun, a self-made ethnic Korean businessman in the United States, donated 10 million dollars to the university. Park, 74, is an adviser at Bureau Veritas, a French industry inspection service provider.

Neil Pappalardo, chairman of the American medical software company Meditech, also donated 2.5 million dollars in November last year.

They said they have maintained a long friendship with KAIST President Seo Nam-pyo. They were more impressed, however, over Seo’s reform and enthusiasm to make KAIST one of the world’s top tech universities.

At his inauguration in 2006, Seo pledged to raise one trillion won (one billion dollars) for the institute’s development.

Seo has donated 100 million won of prize money he earned from Pony Jeong Foundation, lecture fees and his personal assets to KAIST and the KUF Foundation in the United States. His combined donations are estimated at 200 million won.

Actress Han Eun-jeong and singer Kim Jang-hoon each donated 100 million won to the school. Seo as president has raised a whopping 70 billion won for his school, one of the highest amounts for a domestic university.

Jang said, “I hope to see domestic large businesses increase their investment in domestic universities, the growth engine for the nation’s competitiveness in this global era.”