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Board Chairman Chung Makes First Visit to Building Named After Him
Moon-Soul Chung, chairman of the KAIST board of trustees, visited the building built with his donation on Monday (Oct. 19) for the first time since he made the deed of gift eight years ago, university authorities said on Monday (Oct. 19). In 2000, Chung, founder and former CEO of Mirae Corp, manufacturer of semiconductor testing equipment, announced retirement and handed over the presidency of his company to one of his managing directors. One year later in 2001, he donated 30 billion won, then equivalent to $30 million, to KAIST. It was by then the largest amount given by a single donor. The major part of his donation went to constructing a building for the newly-established Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, and it was named after him. However, Chung did not attend the ground-breaking and dedication ceremonies, saying that he would not enter the building until KAIST achieved a breakthrough technology which can inject a hope to Koreans. On his first visit to the building, he was briefed on the major research outcomes of the department over the past seven years, which were highlighted by the recent invention of an apparatus for measuring perfusion rate of legs. A KAIST team headed by Prof. Chul-Hee Choi invented a light leakage prevention unit including a light emitting device for radiating light having a certain wavelength onto a living body injected with Indocyanine Green (ICG). According to Prof. Choi, the invention relates to an apparatus for measuring the perfusion rate of legs. The invention also includes a light leakage prevention housing formed to prevent transmission of external light. Chung expressing satisfaction with the achievements and encouraged professors, researchers and students working at the Moon-Soul Chung Building.
Self-Made Businessman Donates $24 Mil. Worth of Property to KAIST
Byeong-Ho Kim, a self-made businessman, has donated land worth 30 billion won ($25 million) to KAIST, the university"s authorities said on Thursday (Aug. 13). The 68-year-old businessman said his aim is to give students from lower-income families a chance at a decent education and, ultimately, make Korea richer and powerful through development of science and technology. He runs the Seojeon Farm in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. Kim visited KAIST on Wednesday (Aug. 12) with his wife and 36-year-old son to finalize details of the donation with KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh. He signed papers to certify the deed to donate 94,380 square meters of land in a ceremony. "I promised my family I"d invest our money for a good purpose. Now I hope KAIST can educate students who can"t afford to pay tuition fees. I wasn"t able to study further than elementary school due to poverty," Kim said, wishing that his donation could be used in fostering talented students and great scholars from around the world. Kim"s wife, Sam-Yeol Kim, 60, sent an e-mail to KAIST last July 27, on behalf of her husband who suffered a stroke in 2004, to inform the university of her husband"s intent to make the donation. Kim had pledged to his wife and son that some day he would return all his assets to society before his death. He began to look for the right beneficiary five years ago and chose KAIST as he was impressed by reformatory and innovative efforts at the university where its president was donating all his extra earnings to the university. “I believe that KAIST can make my dream come true. It is to have advanced science and technology education turn Korea into a country where everyone can live happily,” said Kim at the ceremony. He recalled his early life, saying, “I left for Seoul when I was 17 years old with just 76 won. I had to save money so much it was scary. Even when the weather was stifling, I refused to buy myself cold soft drinks just to save 1 more won.” Even though he grew up in a difficult environment, Mr. Kim maintained a firm conviction in familial ties and education. Being the oldest of seven children, he had to support his younger siblings’ education, but never complained about his own lack of opportunity. When his father died, he took money that had been left over from funeral expenses and donated it to relatives as scholarships for their children. He believed that such kindness was the best way to make his father’s passing meaningful. In addition, he donated one billion won to a scholarship fund that helps those like him, who never had a chance to study or learn. Mr. Kim’s favorite phrase is, “Earning money takes skill, but to spend it is an art.” This mirrors his philosophy of saving and economizing in order to make as much money as possible, then donating generously to the upbringing of future generations. The decision to donate was also heavily influenced by the support of his wife, and his family. When he first hinted at his intention to donate, his family simply accepted the decision, saying that they were proud of him. Kim had always emphasized that wealth should be given back to society, and as such, his son Se-Yoon Kim donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other charity organizations every month, saying that his actions were an obvious duty. KAIST officials said they were emotionally moved to learn that Mr. Kim donated the fortune to a university, which is completely unrelated to him or anyone in his family, simply for the sake of the nation’s future. They said that Kim is a figure that all of Korean society should follow, and that everyone in KAIST will etch his wish into their hearts, and try their hardest to make sure future generations will prosper.
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