BEGAN IN 1906
Sookmyung Women's University holds the distinction of being the first institution in Korea to illuminate the path of women's education. Today, the light of Sookmyung's women's education continues to shine brightly, poised to expand its reach to the broader world.
Sookmyung’s Path From its Foundation to the Present
Founded in 1906 on the expansive grounds of Yong-Dong Palace and by the Royal Family of King Go-Jong from the Joseon Dynasty, Sookmyung emerged as a response to the pressing need for an educational institution for women created by the Korean People themselves. The establishment of this groundbreaking university despite the Japanese colonization, as well as the first Korean principal being appointed, carries historical significance to a greater extent.
To secure the necessary funds for its establishment, the Royal Family generously bestowed Kyung-Sun Palace, while Young Chin, the son of King Go-Jong, contributed harvests from six districts across three provinces. Of the six districts included were Shin-Chun, Eun Yul and Wan-Do, while the three provinces were Hwang-Hae, South Cholla and Kyunggi. With this support, Sookmyung embarked on its mission to create a truly nationalistic platform for women's education, independent of external assistance.
Initially, Sookmyung opened its doors to merely five young women, ranging in ages from 11 to 26. Thirty-two years later, as the nation stood on the brink of World War II, the intellectuals of the time recognized even more the vital importance of empowering women through education. This recognition sparked a nationwide fundraising campaign in 1938, leading to the establishment of Sookmyung Women's School.
Sookmyung Women's School, the precursor to Sookmyung Women's University, marked a new chapter in the educational history of Korea. It carried with it a rich and distinctive legacy, created by the Korean people and the last Royal Family, who shared a fervent desire for independence and the sovereignty of the people.