International Huskies

Legacy of Generosity Expands Korea Studies at the UW

A group photo of the Korea Huskies

The Korea Huskies at their annual gathering in 2019

Last December, a gift to the University of Washington’s Korea Studies Program was the latest in a long string of generous outpourings by Husky alumni in Korea. The Korea Huskies board has an extensive history of supporting the local alumni community, sponsoring programming and hosting new alumni at events in Korea. This latest gift shows their impact impact is global in scope.

“We all truly appreciate Korea Studies’ great contributions to the college community and to (building) understanding and interest in the Korean language, culture and society,” said Jangho Park, ’89, past president of the Korea Huskies board. “Korea Studies… is the symbol of our pride and commitment.”

The UW has one of the oldest Korea Studies Programs in the U.S., dating back to 1943. It provides scholarship on Korea and helps to make Korean history and culture known more widely. In addition to offering broad knowledge to those who interact with Korea and Koreans, it provides deep insights into Korean heritage for the Korean American community in the state of Washington and beyond.

The program is also affiliated with an independent Center for Korea Studies within the Jackson School of International Studies. The center coordinates research on Korea, including conferences and community outreach. Recently, the center hosted a forum  on the Atlanta spa shootings and anti-Asian sentiment that included Korean community members.

“The support the Korea Husky alumni chapter provides is critical to the work we do both here and abroad,” said Clark Sorensen, the chair of the Korea Studies program. “Donors support two of our four Korea Studies professors, help support the Center for Korea Studies and provides scholarship money for both undergraduates and graduates who are interested in coming to the UW to study Korea. Without donor support, the Korea Program would not be an independent program, and the study of Korea would be a shadow of what it is.”

Thanks to the Korea Huskies and donors like them, the UW can continue its important work in Korea Studies. Their generosity has built a close knit group of proud UW alums who sustain important programs at the University with global impact.