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Ceremony to mark endowment for new Korean Studies professorship

STANFORD -- For the first time in its history, Stanford University soon will have a full-time professor of Korean Studies, Daniel Okimoto, professor of political science and chairman of the Korean Studies Committee, has announced.

Kim Joungwon, of the Korea Foundation, and Hyun Jae-Hyun, chairman of the Tong Yang Group and president of the Korea Stanford Alumni Association, will participate in a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 24, to acknowledge pledges of approximately $1 million each from the foundation, the Tong Yang corporation, and the alumni body to endow the new professorship.

The pledges will be signed at 6:30 p.m. at Hoover House, home of University President Gerhard Casper. Hoover House is located on Cabrillo Road at Santa Ynez, on the Stanford campus. Call (415) 723-1108 for credentialling and parking information. Press members must have a credential to attend. Please arrive by 6 p.m.

The Korean studies chair will broaden Stanford's teaching and research programs in Asian studies, which currently are strongest in Japanese and Chinese studies. Casper has sought to secure funds to support a professor of Korean studies as a component of his Pacific Initiative.

The initiative, unveiled by Casper in 1995, involves strengthening the faculty ­ particularly the social science faculty ­ with respect to Asia. Casper has traveled to Asia three times since becoming president of Stanford, and visited Seoul for the first time in November 1995.

The endowment will allow the university to recruit a social science scholar whose work focuses on Korea from the perspective of contemporary policy issues. The chairholder might be someone whose research focuses on the political economy of Korea, trade or finance, security relations, politics, or other topics of importance to understanding Korea in the context of today's world.

The Korean studies professor will teach in the School of Humanities and Sciences and conduct research in the Asia/Pacific Research Center (A/PARC) of the Institute for International Studies. A/PARC is a leading center for contemporary studies of the Asia Pacific region ­ particularly on such issues as collective security, trading blocs, technology transfer and the environment.

Stanford offers regular courses in Korean language study, but traditionally has relied on visiting professors to teach Korea-related social science courses. Funding for these visitors was gathered through individual gifts and foundation grants. Most recently, the Korea Foundation provided a grant for Korea's former foreign minister, Han Sung-Joo, to teach a course on "Foreign Relations of Korea." The new endowment will allow the university to establish a permanent Korean studies program with consistent faculty attention.

"Korea's history and culture and its modern economic development are extremely important to the Asia Pacific region," said Walter Falcon, director of the Institute for International Studies. "We are enthusiastic about the decision of the Korea Foundation and the alumni to support a permanent chair in this area through endowment funding."

Koreans comprise the sixth-largest group of international students at Stanford, and many alumni have risen to prominent positions in their homeland. Jae-Hyun Hyun, who will be honored at the signing ceremony, received his MBA from Stanford in 1981. In addition to being chairman of the Tong Yang Group and president of the Korea Stanford Alumni Association, Hyun is an active civic leader. He is chairman of the Korea Futures Trading Association, and a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council, the Seoul Bar Association and the Advisory Council of Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

The $3 million endowment will provide the salary and benefits for the chairholder. Stanford seeks an additional $2 million to support related research programs, conferences, K-12 curriculum development, and increased interchange among Stanford Korea scholars, policymakers and business leaders.



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