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Krafton Matches Alumni Donations to Raise 11 Billion KRW for SW Developers
Alumni donations from the School of Computing, including Baemin and Devsisters, continue to grow Alumni from the KAIST School of Computing who are current and former developers at the leading game company Krafton, established by KAIST alumna Byung-Gyu Chang, made an agreement to help raise 11 billion KRW during a ceremony on June 4. The funds raised in the matching grant will be used to nurture software developers. Krafton Chairman Chang donated 10 billion won last January. His donation inspired other alumni working at Krafton as well as its former developers. Eleven KAIST alumni raised 5.5 billion KRW in two months and discussed the matching grant idea with Chairman Chang. The Krafton matching grant ceremony was attended by President Kwang Hyung Lee, Provost and Executive Vice President Seung Seob Lee, Vice President for Research Sang Yup Lee, Head of the School of Computing Sukyoung Ryu, Krafton Chairman Byung-gyu Chang, and KAIST alumnus from Krafton Seung-woo Shin. Other alumni donors including Krafton CEO Changhan Kim joined the ceremony online. Krafton CEO Changhan Kim said, “Just as our alma mater played an important role in growing our company, we hope that our donation could help support good developers. This will not only help our company, but advance our industry.” KAIST and Krafton also signed a business agreement to foster competitive developers. Krafton said it plans to continue giving back to society through the matching grant program. Head of the School of Computing Sukyoung Ryu thanked Chairman Chang and alumni who took part in the fund raising, saying, “To take the lead in rapidly changing computer technology, we desperately need more top students, faculty members, and facilities. We need more resources and infrastructure for interdisciplinary research.” The School of Computing has seen significant growth recently. Its number of undergraduate students has increased from 450 in 2016 to more than 900 in 2021. With this donation, the school will expand its current buildings to provide diverse educational and mentoring programs in more spacious facilities. Seung-woo Shin (Class of ’92), who joined Krafton’s matching grant, said, “I have always been thankful for the people I met and what I learned at KAIST. I was moved by the idea of giving back to the school.” Seong-jung Ryu (Class of ’97) said, “This donation reminded me of the good times I had back then. I thought it was crucial that the department’s facilities be extended, so I naturally wanted to take part.” Alumni donations, especially from the School of Computing, have also continued to grow more recently. Woowa Brothers Corp. CEO Beom-Jun Kim, the developer of the meal delivery app ‘Baemin’ donated 100 million KRW in April. Baemin became the most used app in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained, “I have been thinking about ways to give something to the next generation, rather than ‘paying back’ those who helped me in the past.” Encouraged by Baemin’s donation, alumni couple Ha-Yeon Seo and Dong-Hun Hahn from the School of Computing and eleven alumni engineers working at Devsisters Corp. also followed suit.
A Self-Made Couple in Their 90s Donates to KAIST
A self-made elderly couple in their 90s made a 20 billion KRW donation to KAIST on March 13. Chairman of Samsung Brush Sung-Hwan Chang and his wife Ha-Ok Ahn gave away their two properties valued at 20 billion in Nonhyon-dong in Seoul to KAIST during a ceremony on March 13 in Seoul. Chairman Chang, 92, made a huge fortune starting his business manufacturing cosmetic brushes. Building two factories in China, he expanded his business to export to high-end cosmetic companies. Chairman Chang, a native of North Korea, is a refugee who fled his hometown with his sister at age 18 during the Korean War. He said remembering his mother who was left behind in North Korea was the most painful thing. “We always wanted to help out people in need when we would earn enough money. We were inspired by our friends at our retirement community who made a donation to KAIST several years ago. We believe this is the right time to make this decision,” said Chairman Chang. The couple lives in same retirement community, a famous place for many successful businessmen and wealthy retired figures, located in Yongin, Kyonggi-do with Chairmen Beang-Ho Kim, Chun-Shik Cho, and Chang-Keun Son. With their gift, KAIST established Kim Beang-Ho & Kim Sam-Youl ITC Building as well as the Cho Chun-Shik Graduate School of Green Transportation. The four senior couples’ donations amount to 76.1 billion KRW. “It would be the most meaningful way if we could invest in KAIST for the country’s future,” said Chairman Chang. “I talked a lot with Chairman Kim on how KAIST utilizes its donations and have developed a strong belief in the future of KAIST.” Chairman and Mrs. Chang already toured the campus several times at the invitation of President Kwang-Hyung Lee and President Lee himself presented the vision of KAIST to the couple. The couple also attended President Lee’s inauguration ceremony on March 8. President Lee thanked the couple for their donation, saying “I take my hat off to Chairman Chang and his wife for their generous donation that was amassed over their lifetime. They lived very fiscally responsible lives. We will efficiently utilize this fund for educating future global talents." (END)
Dongwon Chairman Donates ₩50 Billion to Fund AI Graduate School
Dongwon Group Honorary Chairman and Founder Jae-chul Kim donated his private property worth ₩50 billion (US $46 million) to KAIST on December 16. Honorary Chairman Kim’s gift will fund the KAIST Graduate School of AI (GSAI), which was established last year. The KAIST GSAI will be re-named the ‘Kim Jae-chul Graduate School of AI’ to honor Honorary Chairman Kim. This is the third major donation that KAIST has received this year following KAIST Development Foundation Chairman Soo-Young Lee’s ₩67.6 billion in real estate in July and another ₩10 billion from a KAIST alumnus, Chairman Byeong-Gyu Chang of Krafton, in January. “KAIST, as the cradle that trains Korea’s best talents in science and technology, has been at the forefront of leading national development over the past 50 years. I hope that KAIST will also strive to nurture global talents who excel in AI innovation and steer Korea’s new advancements to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Honorary Chairman Kim during the donation ceremony at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon. The ceremony was held in strict compliance with Level Two social distancing guidelines and measures in response to the persistent coronavirus. Less than 50 people, including Honorary Chairman Kim’s family, President Sung-Chul Shin, and professors from key posts at KAIST, attended the ceremony. Dongwon Group is one of the leading fishery companies in Korea, established in 1969 by Honorary Chairman Kim. He recalled memories of his childhood as he explained the background of the donation, saying, “When I was young, I searched for Korea’s future in the world’s oceans. However, a new future lies in the ‘oceans of data.’” “I have been pondering how I could further contribute to my country, and realized that bringing up talented individuals in the AI and data science-related fields is important. I hope that my donation today will aid the take-off of KAIST’s great voyage towards becoming a global “flagship” in the new eras to come,” Honorary Chairman Kim added. To this, President Shin responded acclaiming the noblesse oblige held by Honorary Chairman Kim to further develop Korea’s science and technology and make Korea into a leader in AI innovation. “We will always keep KAIST’s role and mission close to our hearts and do our best to make KAIST into a global hub for talent cultivation and R&D in AI, based on Honorary Chairman Kim’s donation,” said President Shin. With Honorary Chairman Kim’s donation, the KAIST GSAI will first expand its faculty in both quantity and quality. By expanding the number of full-time, highly qualified professors to 40 by 2030, the School will train the most talented personnel in fusion and convergence AI. The KAIST GSAI opened in August 2019 as the first school in Korea to be selected as part of the ‘2019 Graduate School for AI Support Project’ by the Ministry of Science and ICT. The current faculty is composed of 13 full-time professors including ex-researchers from AI labs of global conglomerates including Google, IBM Watson, and Microsoft, as well as eight adjunct professors, making a total of 21 faculty members. There are currently 138 students attending the School, including 79 master’s students, 17 in the integrated MS-PhD program, and 42 PhD candidates. (END)
Singer Janghoon Kim Donates Development Fund to KAIST
Singer Janghoon Kim Donates Development Fund to KAIST - Generously donates part of earnings from his concert where HUBO performed for development of science - Opportunity for activation of science culture through encounter between science and culture Singer Janghoon Kim donated 50 million won from his concert earnings for KAIST development fund. Singer Kim visited KAIST on January 16 (Tue) and donated the development fund at the joint lecture room in KAIST Mechanical Engineering B/D. Singer Kim had a concert at the end of the last year where he performed with ‘HUBO’ and ‘Albert HUBO’, human-like robots of KAIST HUBO center. Singer Kim made a donation to express his gratitude to KAIST Professor Joonho Oh and his research team, who assisted his concert actively to allow HUBO to join the concert in spite of technical difficulties and research obstacles. “Although HUBO has performed various activities so far, it is the first time to make a successful performance with a singer on a stage. Honestly, I hesitated a lot to allow HUBO to join Kim’s concert due to safety problems etc., but I was so impressed by Kim’s interest and passion for science, and thus decided HUBO’s joining the concert. This is the first case how robots can exchange with public cultures. I wish this case will be a momentum to activate science culture and make people feel closer to science,” Professor Oh said. The donation will be spent partly as KAIST development fund (20 million won) and partly on the publicity of science and technology via HUBO (30 million won).
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