[Tae-Joon Park Commemoration] Ideals of Founders Would Be Cherished
[Tae-Joon Park Commemoration] Ideals of Founders Would Be Cherished
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  • 승인 2012.01.01 13:23
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▲ Prof. Yu Dai-shik(right) and Tae-Joon Park look around the campus.

Alas, the founding chairman Mr. Tae-Joon Park, always eager to push POSTECH to become a world-class university, will never be back again. Such a steel magnate, who made miraculous industrial growth possible, passed away. He produced steel, the “Rice of industry,” and supplied it to all the industries in Korea. By doing so he helped gain freedom from poverty after the Korean War. When recruiting Ph.D. researchers for technological progress of POSCO was slow, Chung Am (the pen name of Park) decided to train scientists and engineers through establishing a university and invite Korean scholars abroad as professors. What he founded is not only POSTECH, but also Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology and Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology.

“Serve the nation through steelmaking,” the spirit of Chung Am, created an enormous synergy effect with “Serve the nation through science”, the spirit of Hogil Kim, the first president of POSTECH. Right after the foundation of the school, the model of accelerator, also the hope of Hogil Kim, was put on display in the library. Every time Park visited the library with officials, including members of the National Assembly, Kim persuaded them by explaining how the support of high technology including an accelerator served national technological progress. Finally Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL) was successfully built as a government-supported research institute. Alas, by sudden accident Hogil Kim departed this life in April of 1994. I wouldn’t know how Mr. Kim could close his eyes without looking at the inauguration ceremony of PAL in which he dedicated so much devotion to the nation through science.

Mr. Park’s special affection to POSTECH could be found from looking around the students and encouraging them when he visited the library. That was something like the image of a grandfather looking at his grandchildren with pride. A very large budget on the library, more than three times than that of other universities, would have been impossible without the special attention of Chung Am. Once he heard of the insufficient library capacity, he was accompanied by Hogil Kim and chaired professors and went up the hill behind the school to decide the location for a newly constructed library.

Chung Am aimed and dreamed for the world-class university POSTECH and Hogil Kim gave shape to that plan in the way mentioned above. Professors of my generation should be reeducated while studying abroad because university education in Korea was sloppy and poor. However, Chung Am resolved on supplying science and technology education for students not to necessarily study abroad after graduation and to become a professor. It was not just lip service. One of the first graduates, Dr. Chang Yong-tae was appointed as a professor at New York University. Following him, many of POSTECH alumni have started for their new post as professors of universities or researchers of renowned institutes right after the graduation.

There was an important point in common among the interactions between Mr. Park and Hogil Kim for seven years after the foundation of POSTECH. That agreement was the concrete belief of training scientists and engineers who could contribute to the development of society, nation, and humanity.

Although, the founding chairman Tae-Joon Park and the first President Dr. Hogil Kim have left us ideals of POSTECH foundation remain to be cherished and realized.

In the heaven, Chung Am seeing POSTECH below is looking at who receives the Nobel Prize first and whose bust is mounted on the base of “Future Korean Scientist” statue which Hogil Kim installed.

Professor Emeritus of HSS, and also the first director of the university library
Yu Dai-shik

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