Sookmyung's Path from its Foundation to the Present
Realizing the imperative need for a learning institution for women created by the Korean people themselves, the Royal Family of King Go-Jong of the Joseon Dynasty founded Sookmyung on the vast grounds of Yong-Dong Palace in 1906. The fact that the very first Korean principal was appointed to this innovative institution under Japanese colonization holds important historical meanings in itself. To furnish the necessary fund to establish the school, the Royal Family bestowed Kyung-Sun Palace, and the son of King Go-Jong, Young Chin, granted the harvest coming from 6 districts (including Shin-chun, Eun-Yul, Wan-Do) from 3 Provinces (Hwang-Hae, South Cholla, and Kyunggi), so began the pioneering effort to erect a truly nationalistic learning ground for women without any external help. Sookmyung first opened its doors to five young women between the age of 11 and 26. Thirty-two years later, the nation was about to be embroiled in World War II. The intellectuals of the time who yearned for independence and the sovereignty of the people, recognized the paramount need to endow women with opportunities for learning. This recognition led to a nationwide fund-raising campaign for the foundation of Sookmyung Women's School in 1938. The predecessor of Sookmyung Women's University, Sookmyung Women's School, therefore opened a new chapter in the educational history of the nation, with a rich and unique legacy created by the Korean people and the last Royal Family.
Sookmyung was the first institution to brighten this country with the light of women's education.This light will now expand to a wider world.