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118th Anniversary Commemoration: “Sookmyung’s Leap to the Top 5”

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  • Writer 커뮤니케이션팀
  • 보도일자 2024-05-23


Sookmyung Women’s University held an event on May 21 (Tue.) at the Centennial Hall’s Samsung Convention Center to celebrate its 118th anniversary. 


Around 200 Sookmyung members participated in the event, including President Yunkeum Chang, CEO Ingook Park of the Sookmyung Education Foundation, and President Kyeonghee Kim of the Alumni Association. The event kicked off with the CEO’s congratulatory address, followed by the President’s commemorative address, government awards ceremony, long-term service awards ceremony, and Sookmyung Development Contribution Awards ceremony.


“The most decisive action that President Chang took since her inauguration can be said to be digital literacy education for all students regardless of their major. Digital literacy is no longer a requirement exclusive to the computer engineering major; it is an indispensable gateway for people in all areas, including music, literature, and design, to enter the new world,” CEO Ingook Park said during her address congratulating the university on its anniversary. 


She also mentioned Sookmyung’s 120th anniversary in 2026. “Our university began as Myungshin Girl’s School with five female students. It was revolutionary for the imperial family to educate girls in those times. I wish for Sookmyung’s continued evolution so that I will be able to declare the achievements of our ‘Digital Revolution,' which we have already put into practice, along with our unique history at the anniversary commemoration two years later,” she added.


“Because the imperial family founded our university, each and every member of the school is filled with a sense of ownership stronger than that in any other university. Sookmyung members strive to fulfill their sense of ownership of our school and carry out the mission of bringing further growth to the school. I believe Sookmyung Women’s University has become what it is today because it was full of outstanding members with a sense of ownership,” President Chang said in her commemorative address. 


“We at Sookmyung have sought to aid each other amid the COVID pandemic that no one had anticipated and risks of the demographic cliff at the world’s highest level, overcoming struggles together and continuing to grow for the past 118 years. I ask all of you to continue pursuing endless change and innovation and consolidate your strengths to let our school soar as the world’s best digital humanity university and take new leaps for the top 5,” she added. 


The winners of the Sookmyung Development Contribution Awards were Choonshil Ahn (Honorary Bachelor) and Jeonghye Ahn (72nd Instrumental Music Graduate), who are sisters, and Seonhye Jo (77th Pharmaceuticals Graduate). This award was enacted in 2022 to fulfill the mission of Sookmyung’s foundation and reward alumni who brought growth and honor to the university. In particular, those who shared their love for Sookmyung Women’s University with their family won this year’s award, drawing heartfelt applause from event participants. 


President Yunkeum Chang (middle) poses for a commemorative photo with this year’s Sookmyung Development Contribution Award winners: Seonhye Jo (left) and Jeonghye Ahn (right).

Choonshil Ahn, an honorary alumna, supported her family after entering South Korea during the January 4th Retreat in the Korean War, even going as far as to forgo her studies. Her beloved sister, Jeonghye Ahn, displayed distinguished love for her alma mater, donating 1 billion won to Sookmyung Women’s University.

Jeonghye Ahn is Choonshil Ahn’s little sister who graduated summa cum laude as a piano major in Sookmyung Women’s University’s Instrumental Music Department in 1972. Since then, she has contributed to the growth of her school, including serving as president of the Alumni Association’s Philadelphia branch in the USA for multiple terms. Sookmyung Women’s University conferred an honorary bachelor’s degree to Choonshil Ahn in 2016 as a token of appreciation and named the lobby of the university’s museum after her in 2017.


The other award winner was Seonhye Jo, an alumna of Sookmyung and the CEO of Korea’s largest medical drugs distribution company Geoyoung. She has built a reputation as one of Asia’s best business executives through endless attempts and fearless pioneering spirit. Miss Jo has contributed to the school by leading the Sookmyung Culture Foundation since 2009 and has donated around 2 billion won as of this writing.


During the COVID pandemic, she donated development funds for students to do their schoolwork in a state-of-the-art environment, laying the foundation for creating “Gyeongsoon Lee Hall” in the Main Library. Sookmyung Women’s University named the hall after Gyeongsoon Lee, the first graduate of Sookmyung Women’s College and the mother of Seonhye Jo, to commemorate such heartwarming love for their alma mater.




The ceremony commemorating the university’s 118th anniversary came to a close after the congratulatory concert by orchestral music major students in the College of Music and singing of the school song.