News and Event
NEW Ajou University holds ceremony to celebrate 50th anniversary as a university that is changing the world
A ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ajou University was held with about 1,000 participants, including students, alumni, professors, employees, representatives of major institutions, and domestic and foreign university officials.
The ceremony was held in the auditorium of Yeonam Hall at 14:00 on April 12. With Park Seon-yeong as emcee, the ceremony proceeded in the order of: (i) the pledge of allegiance to the nation; (ii) introduction of guests; (iii) report on the university’s 50-year history (Kim Kyungrai, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs); (iv) commemorative address (Ajou University President Choi Kee-choo); (v) words of encouragement (President Choo Ho Suk of the Daewoo Educational Foundation); (vi) congratulatory address (online and on-site); (vii) granting of awards; (viii) Ajou Vision 5.0 announcement (General Manager Kang Mincheol of the Office of Planning and Coordination) and declaration (Ajou family); (iv) unveiling of the Ajou 50th Anniversary Wall; and (x) singing of the school song in union and celebratory performance (Suwon City Chorale). The event was broadcast live via YouTube.
First, Kim Kyungrai, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, took the stage and introduced Ajou’s 50 years of history. Ajou University was inaugurated in 1973 with the cooperation of the Korean and French governments as “Ajou Engineering Junior College” and upgraded to an engineering college in December 1973 and a university in 1980. In 1981, the university’s graduate school was established, and in 1988, the medical college was created. In the 2000s, the colleges of nursing and pharmacy were opened. In 2009, the Graduate School of Law, the first of its kind in Gyeonggi Province, was established.
Executive Vice President Kim Kyungrai presented the 50 years of Ajou university in four periods: (i) establishment of the university and its initial development (1973-1980); (ii) growth of the university (1981-1999); (iii) challenges faced by the university and establishment of a foundation for achieving self-reliance (2000-2011); and (iv) fostering of the university’s sustainability and seeking of new direction for growth (2012-present). After the outline of the school’s history, a celebratory video clip was played to show the history, spirit, and achievements of Ajou University over the past 50 years.
In his congratulatory address, President Choi Kee-choo said, “The 50th anniversary of Ajou University is a milestone that has been achieved with the dedication of our students, alumni, professors, and staff. Starting as a small university, Ajou University has grown to become one of Korea’s major universities and a pivotal institution that contributes to the local community through the establishment and operation of Ajou University Hospital.”
President Choi continued, “Ajou’s history of 50 years has been a history of facing and overcoming challenges, and the upcoming 50 years should be a history of creation and innovation. Going forward, Ajou will grow as a university that plays a leading role in the world beyond Korea and works to serve humanity.”
President Choo Ho Suk of the Daewoo Educational Foundation said in his words of encouragement, “Ajou University has explored and developed in its own ways over the past 50 years. In the early years after the university’s foundation, young and enthusiastic faculty and smart students established Ajou’s reputation as ‘a university with excellent education,’ breaking records with their numerous innovations.”
He delivered a message of congratulations and appreciation, saying, “All of the Ajou members present here today are the heroes and heroines of Ajou’s 50 years of history.”
Dignitaries who did not attend the event sent their congratulations via video clips. Governor Kim Dong-yeon of Gyeonggi Province, who served as the 15th president of Ajou University, sent a congratulatory message while on a business trip in the United States. Mayor Lee Jae-jun of Suwon Special City and President Maurie McInnis of Stony Brook University sent words of congratulations in the form of images.
Governor Kim Dong-yeon said, “I remember my service at Ajou University as a pleasant and rewarding time. I firmly believe that Ajou University will continue to prosper as it has so far, and I will provide my utmost support for Ajou as a permanent Ajou member.”
President Hong Won-hwa of Kyungpook National University; National Assembly member Park Kwang-on; Yeom Tae-young, Vice Governor of Economic Affairs, Gyeonggi Province, and Acting President Ling San of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore took turns rising to the stage to deliver messages of congratulations.
Awards for the 50th anniversary were presented to the French Embassy in Korea (certificate of merit); Suwon Special City, Gyeonggi Province (special award); and Ajou Alumni Association (plaque of appreciation). Ludovic Guillot, cultural councilor at the French Embassy in Korea, and Choi Jung-won[KH1], president of the Ajou Alumni Association, on behalf of Philippe Lefort, French ambassador in Korea, and Ajou alumni, respectively, came to the stage to extend their congratulations. Director Park Sa-seung of Suwon Special City’s Planning and Coordination Office and Yeom Tae-young, Vice Governor for Economic Affairs, Gyeonggi Province, were present to accept the awards on behalf of Suwon City and Gyeonggi Province, respectively.
This was followed by an explanation of and declaration ceremony for Ajou Vision 5.0, Ajou University’s long-term development strategy. General Manager Kang Mincheol of the Office of Planning and Coordination took the stage to explain the background and content of Ajou Vision 5.0, which is made up of 25 strategic tasks in education, research, university-industry cooperation, and global sectors with the goal of making Ajou a university that explores the future through value creation and innovation. The Ajou Vision 5.0 declaration ceremony was attended by Ajou President Choi Kee-choo; President Lee Hyo-seong of the Student Council; President Lee Jae-ho of the Professors Council; Cho Jae-hyeon, president of a labor union branch; President Choi Jung-won of the Ajou Alumni Association; Lee Beom-jae, an alumnus of the class of 1973; Kim Hyeon-seung, a student of the class of 2023; Prof. Kim Hyungyoon, newly appointed in 2023; and Kim Hyo-jeong, a staff member.
Meanwhile, in the afternoon, an international conference was held as part of “50th Anniversary of Ajou Week: ai (Ajou Innovations) Festival,” with Prof. Kim Tae-bong of the Department of Economics as a host.
Thomas Frey, an American futurist, the founder and executive director of the Davinci Institute, gave a keynote lecture on the theme of “The future of university.” In addition, Ajou President Choi Kee-choo, Acting President Ling San of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, President Hong Won-hwa of Kyungpook National University, and Director Choi Eun-hee of the Ministry of Education’s Human Resources Division gave presentations on the role and innovation of universities in the future.
Thomas Frey said, “Universities need to foster a collaborative learning environment where teamwork and leadership can be cultivated, going beyond traditional education, and should provide an educational environment that enables education based on coaching and experience and nurtures an understanding of cultural diversity.”
Lastly, alumni researchers of Ajou University currently working at overseas universities introduced cases of global university innovations and presented suggestions. The researchers were: Prof. Yun Hyun Jung, Texas State University (Department of Political Science and Diplomacy, 1996); Prof. Hwang Jaejin, Northern Illinois University (Department of Industrial Engineering, 2003); Prof. Lim Keun-Woo, Télécom Paris (Department of Software and Computer Engineering, 2003); Prof. Lee Jaeyoung, Central South University, China (Department of Transportation Systems Engineering, 2000); and Prof. Park SaeJune, Queen Mary University of London (Department of Physics, 2008).
Guests at the 50th anniversary ceremony.
President Choi Kee-choo presenting Ajou University’s 50-year history and future directions in his congratulatory address.
Unveiling ceremony for the Ajou 50th Anniversary Wall in the lobby of Yulgok Hall, broadcast live concurrently with the 50th anniversary ceremony.
Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Dong-yeon, 15th president of Ajou University, sharing words of congratulations while on a business trip in the United States.
Followed by the event, executives including Ajou University President Choi Kee-choo and Daewoo Institute Director Choo Ho Suk.
Ajou International Conference, held after the 50th anniversary ceremony.
* The picture at the very top shows the Ajou Vision 5.0 declaration ceremony, which was attended by: President Choi Kee-choo; President Lee Hyo-seong of the Student Council; President Lee Jae-ho of the Professors Council; Cho Jae-hyeon, president of a labor union branch; President Choi Jung-won of the Ajou Alumni Association; Lee Beom-jae, an alumnus of the class of 1973; Kim Hyeon-seung, a student of the class of 2023; Prof. Kim Hyungyoon, newly appointed in 2023; and Kim Hyo-jeong, a staff member.
# 50th anniversary of Ajou University and Ajou DNA! – Go to commemorative video clip