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Women Leaders Awarded Honorary Degrees​
View : 11181 Date : 2008-03-05 Writer : ed_news

Korea"s two women leaders, Park Geun-hye, former President of the Grand National Party, and Lee Gil-ya, chairperson of the Gachon Gil Foundation, a major medical services organization, were awarded honorary doctorate degrees by KAIST, Korea"s state-run science and technology research university, on Feb. 29. 

It is the first time in the school"s 37-year history that women have been awarded honorary doctorate degrees. Park and Lee were conferred with the honor during the university"s 2008 graduation ceremony in recognition of their achievements in social services.   

KAIST President Suh Nam-pyo said that the university decided to confer honorary doctorate degrees to Park and Lee, who both have educational backgrounds in the fields of engineering and science, in order to present role models to female students in science and engineering who still make up a relatively small percentage of the total enrollment at KAIST and throughout Korean universities. 

"Our graduates and future students will strive to make meaningful contributions to the nation and the world, just as the two women leaders have done so well, for so many years," said Suh in his commencement address.

Female students constitute 23 percent of the total enrollment of 7,800, including graduate and doctorate students.

The honorary doctorate citation said Park Geun-hye, a graduate of the Department of Electronic Engineering, Sogang University in Seoul, has exerted strenuous efforts for the advancement of science and technology education and women"s social role. Among other things, Park called for the launching of a "second-stage science and technology revolution" during her 2007 presidential campaign. She declared science and technology as "the most crucial area of national development and survival" and instituted seven-point strategies to innovate the nation"s science and technology. Those strategies are specifically aimed at increasing investment in science and technology, fostering a world-class science and technology university and creating science-friendly curriculum at schools.

Lee Gil-ya, a widely-revered medical doctor, has demonstrated outstanding leadership in education, culture, journalism and business management, according to her citation. Throughout her brilliant professional career, she has vigorously pursued her lifelong goal of philanthropy, social service and patriotism. In particular, her dedication to nurturing young talents is widely recognized in Korea.

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