Yonsei Celebrates 129 Years of History
It is amazing to look at how much of a feat Yonsei has achieved in time. “Of the four basic missions of a higher education institution that include ‘education,’ ‘research,’ ‘medicine,’ and ‘social work,’ Yonsei is maintaining its position as a top university in all those except ‘research.’” This is a speech by President Jeong Kap-young at the “129th Foundation Day” of Yonsei University which was held on a warm summer day of May 10.
In particular, the “Alumni Meeting” was held in order to celebrate the “129th Foundation Day” of Yonsei University. The two events took place from 11 in the morning at Baekyang Concert Hall. Various recognitions were awarded in the event, and some of those recognitions included awards for “social work,” “medical work,” and “academic achievement,” all of which were given to hundreds of the proud Yonsei University alumni. The awarding event was followed by speeches by alumni representatives who spoke that they looked forward to a better Yonsei with completed Baekyang-ro constructions. The day officially drew to an end with celebrations that involved media performance, Akaraka cheering, and the alumni choir.
A Declaration on State Affairs by Professors in Yonsei
On April 16, a ferry named se-wol sank off the coast of Jindo Island, leaving nearly 300 people dead or missing. Regarding this tragedy, 131 professors in Yonsei University, including 15 foreign professors announced a Declaration on State Affairs on May 14. The professors first stated that they decided to announce the declaration the day before teacher’s day (May 15) to look back on their attitude as a teacher. As a teacher themselves, the professors expressed their deep sorrow for the victims of the se-wol tragedy, who were mostly young high school students. They added that they wanted to participate in reflecting upon the tragedy.
They also went on to assert that this tragedy directly and clearly shows the inherent problem in Korean society, lack of responsibility. First, the captain of the se-wol ferry was irresponsible in his actions as he ran out of the sinking ferry, leaving behind numerous victims. Also, the government neglected to protect the citizens’ safety, freedom and happiness. Thus, the professors called for the government to reflect on themselves whether or not they have been doing their best to rescue everyone left in the ferry and to find out why the ferry sank. In addition, the declaration also criticized the media for having failed to deliver accurate information to the public. Media should keep in mind their duty as a watchdog for democracy.
The professors concluded their declaration saying that the truth about the se-wol tragedy should be clearly investigated to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy. This declaration gained a lot of support from numerous people, leading to the declaration of professors in other universities, such as Kyung Hee University, Seoul National University and the Catholic University of Korea.
Counting the Stars of May
On the last day of May, there were Yonsei stars in the night sky of the amphitheater. As a congratulatory concert for the 129th year of the founding of Yonsei university, the concert called “Oh-wol-eui byeol hae-neun bam”, meaning “counting the stars of May”, was held. Yoon Hyung-joo and Lee Jang-hee from the 1970s, Cho Jin-won and Kim Kwang-jin from the 1980s, Yoon Jong-shin and Park Jin-young from the 1990s, and Horan, Ali, Sweet Sorrow and Cha-yeoul Band from the 2000s starred for the concert, all of whom were proud graduates of Yonsei. Oh Sang-jin and Eom Jee-in, anchors who hosted the concert were also Yonseians.
The name of the concert had a special meaning in that it comes from the title of a poem written by Yoon Dong-joo, a Yonseian independence activist who is famous for his words being strong but beautiful at the same time. Oh-wol-eui byeol hae-neun bam also meant that we were to meet the greatest stars of Korean cultural art, on an evening of May when the weather is the best among the year.
For it was an Yonseian event, the entrance fee for Yonsei students was 10,000 won, whereas others could buy tickets at a price ranging from 50,000 won to 200,000 won. The musicians donated their talent for the concert and all the benefits from this concert are to be donated under Yonsei Development Fund. Kim Sang-joon, the chief of External Affairs, mentioned that this concert also hopes for the success in reconstructing Baekyang-ro project. With all these positive meanings and hopes behind the concert, the event was a big success. The audience was awed by the musicians playing their greatest songs and the atmosphere around the amphitheater was just like its name of the concert, starry. The concert was successful as it attracted more people than was assumed.