April 1, 2004

Contact: John Scarffe, KU Endowment Association, (785) 832-7336.

$50,000 gift completes fund-raising goal for Korean War memorial at KU

LAWRENCE -- Construction of a Korean War memorial at the University of Kansas will begin soon, thanks to a $50,000 gift from a Korean foundation.

The gift to the Kansas University Endowment Association from the International Communication Foundation (ICF) of Seoul, Republic of Korea, increased the total raised for the project to almost $120,000. Construction of the memorial will begin in June.

To be built on the hill above Potter Lake along KU's Memorial Drive, west of the Memorial Campanile, the memorial will honor those affected by the war. The memorial will include a tablet describing the war, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. About 60 KU alumni, students and faculty members served in the Korean War and died in military service.

"Alumni and friends from Kansas to the Republic of Korea have generously supported this project," Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "We are particularly grateful to Dr. Suk Kee Yoh, chairman of the International Communication Foundation, whose gift has allowed us to proceed with construction; to Jong Woo Han, who was instrumental in arranging the gift; and to Yong L. Kim, whose previous gift of $30,000 for the memorial greatly advanced our fund-raising efforts last year."

The nonprofit International Communication Foundation was founded in 1982 by Young Bin Min, chairman of YBM/Si-sa, a Seoul-based corporation. The foundation's mission is to increase awareness and promote the status of Korean culture worldwide.

Han, master's in economics '59 and a resident of Seoul, is chairman of the board of another philanthropic organization, the SungKok Journalism Foundation in Seoul.

"As an alumnus, I am extremely pleased to play a part in contributing to the building of the Korean War Memorial at the University of Kansas," Han said. "Koreans of my generation who have experienced the tragedies of the Korean War will never forget and will always remember the precious sacrifices by the Americans who fought for freedom and defense of our country.

"I am especially grateful to Mr. Min, founder of the ICF, who is himself a refugee from North Korea during the Korean War, for his wholehearted support," Han added. "Mr. Min and I are looking forward to visiting Lawrence and attending the dedication in April next year."

In addition to the gift from Yong Kim, of Leawood, previously announced support for the memorial includes $10,000 from the KU Korean Association, an alumni chapter in Seoul; and $15,000 from representatives of five South Korean corporations. The corporations are the Korea National Housing Corp.; Korea Land Corp.; Myung Sun Architects & Engineers; Eawes; and Agabang Co. Ltd.

KU's existing memorials include the Kansas Memorial Union and Memorial Stadium for World War I; the campanile and Memorial Drive for World War II; and the Vietnam Memorial. A Korean War memorial has been discussed by university officials for several years, but only recently has financial support become available.

The foundation's gift counts toward the goal to exceed $600 million for KU First: Invest in Excellence, the largest fund-raising campaign in KU history. KU Endowment is conducting KU First on behalf of KU through 2004 to raise funds for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, capital projects and program support. KU Endowment serves as the independent, nonprofit fund-raising and fund-management organization for KU.

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