A teacher has created a “Hall of Fame” at the alma mater of a student who died after leaving a scholarship.
Geumcheon High School in Cheongju City, North Chungcheong Province inaugurated on Friday the Hall of Fame, which showcases the plaque of “Baik Gui-bo Scholarship” among other exhibits. Baik, a graduate of the school, met the incumbent principal Kim Myeong-cheol as his homeroom teacher as senior (12th grader) in 1999. Born in the U.S., Baik was required to choose his nationality between the U.S. and South Korea. Baik confessed to Kim, “If I choose the U.S. citizenship, I will be criticized for doing so to avoid military conscription here.” Kim replied, “You could choose the U.S. citizenship but join the (South Korean) military.” He informed Baik even if the latter is a foreign citizen he could still volunteer to serve in the military.
Baik told the teacher, “I would do that without fail,” and took leave of absence from his university in the U.S. to join the South Korean Marines Corps. However, he suffered from pneumonia and died only several months later, which is hard to believe.
Kim, who was appointed to the school’s principal in August last year, decided to create a Hall of Fame to honor Baik and other students. Learning about the plan, Baik’s friends raised 5 million won (about 4,152 U.S. dollars) to help. “I hope the Hall of Fame will become a site for remembering love and generosity who contributed to Geumcheon High School,” Kim said.
Jang-Ki Woo firstname.lastname@example.org