Only soft murmurs could be heard at the conference room on a Thursday afternoon. Quite a number of Korea University’s (KU) professors were seated and students were quietly waiting for some kind of an event to start, looking a little bit nervous. Soon, a presenter welcomed the guests to Suk Lim Hwe’s scholarship awarding ceremony.
Suk Lim Hwe’ s binnual scholarship awarding ceremony for this semester took place at Inchon Memorial Hall on March 6. The ceremony started as Professor Park Dae-Jae (Department of Korean History), the assistant administrator of Suk Lim Hwe, took the podium. After Professor Park’s opening comments Professor Kim Hyung Gyu (School of Medicine), the president of Suk Lim Hwe, gave a short speech.
“Suk Lim Hwe was first organized in 1970,” said Professor Kim. “Our country was not so well off back then, so scholarships were very rare. Our start would not have been possible if not for the professors’ devotions toward their students.” From then on, Suk Lim Hwe continued to grow larger as the only scholarship committee organized by professors in Korea, now settling in as a unique tradition of KU. Currently, Suk Lim Hwe is run by 18 professors of the management committee and has a total of 937 KU professors as members.
Each month, the participating members of Suk Lim Hwe donate about 25,000 won from their salary. The donation collected accumulates into a sufficient amount of fund to give out scholarships to around 100 students annually. For this semester, a total of 110,000,000 won was granted to 44 students from 16 different departments.
Some of the majors of the recipient students included Philosophy, Mathematics, and Nursing. “I am much honored to receive this scholarship given by our school’s professors. This motivates me to study even harder,” said Ahn Joohee (’12 Archaeology and Art History), who was one of the recipients of the Suk Lim Hwe scholarship this semester.
The recipients of Suk Lim Hwe’s scholarship are so special in that each of them is “hand-picked” by the management committee members of each department. A few months before each semester, departments post up notices on their websites with information for application. The required documents include local tax certificates of parents aside from an official transcript and self-introductory essay, as students from lower income families are preferred.
The students who have shown the potential to grow as Korea’s leaders in their academic fields are chosen, so there is no question that receiving this scholarship means much more than just monetary benefits. “We have great expectations and faith in you, students. We wish that you will thrive as scholars and become leader in your fields of academic studies,” emphasized Professor Kim.
▲ Suk Lim Hwe’s president, Professor Kim Hyung Gyu (School of Medicine), is starting the event with a speech. Photographed by Kang Hyun Ji
▲ Each recipient is provided with scholarship which is at least 2,000,000 won. Photographed by Kang Hyun Ji
▲ The scholarship students and Suk Lim Hwe’s professors pose for a group photograph. Photographed by Kang Hyun Ji