Heart and Seoul: Early Korean Students at Indiana University Part 2

In a follow-up to her post on Eung Tyun Cho from earlier this spring, archives assistant Briana Hollins continues on here to write about three other early students from Korea to attend Indiana University. You can still view Brianna’s related exhibit poster which was part of Korea Remixed, a campus-wide initiative to celebrate Korean culture, in the Wells Library Lobby.

Pongsoon Lee (Pusan, Korea) (MA, Library Science, 1953) 

Cover of the book Libraries and Librarianship in Korea
Pongsoon Lee and Young Ai Um, Libraries and Librarianship in Korea. Westport, CO : Greenwood Press, 1994.

The first known Korean woman to attend Indiana University, Pongsoon Lee arrived in the United States in 1951 in pursuit of a master’s in library science. She already held a library science degree from E Wha University in Korea. While a prestigious Fulbright scholarship funded her first year of study at IU, funding for the remainder of her studies fell through. A church in Clayton, Indiana stepped up and helped to raise funds so that she could renew her visa and complete her degree. With the help of kind Hoosiers, she completed her degree in three years. Pongsoon persisted and went on to become the director of the E Wha University for Women library in Seoul in 1964. A 1977 recipient of the Beta Phi Mu Chi Chapter Service Award, in 1994 she co-authored the book Libraries and Librarianship in Korea. 


Chonghan Kim (Ichon, Korea) (BA, Government, 1950; MA, Government, 1951; PhD, Government, 1953) 

Black and white group photograph of men from Rogers I, building F
Residents of Rogers I, building F, 1948. Chonghan Kim is the third row, far left. IU Archives image no. P0046943

Chonghan Kim began his college education in Korea and Japan and came to the Unites States in 1948 to attend Indiana University for his B.A. in Government. He was a part of the Cosmopolitan Club, the Asiatic Club, and resided in Rogers I Residence Hall (Ashton). He was a recipient of the Edwards Graduate Fellowship for 1952-1953. Following graduation, Kim worked at Marquette University as an instructor in political science from 1957-1961. He then worked for the Korean Foreign Service as Counselor of the Korean Mission to the United Nations. In March 1963, he was appointed as the Charge d’Affaires of the Korean Embassy in Uganda, where he stayed until May 1964. Following a brief appointment as the Director of the Bureau of International Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul Korea, Kim became a professor at the College of William and Mary where he remained until his retirement in 1992. In 1978, he served as the first president of the Korean Association of the Virginia Peninsula Area.  


Thomas Kunhyuk Kim (Pusan, Korea) (MBA, General Business, 1954) 

Black and white group photograph of residents from North Cottage Grove.
Residents of North Cottage Grove, 1952. Kim – middle row, second from right. IU Archives image no. P0109573

The son of a Methodist minister who served the Korean government in exile in China, Thomas Kunhyuk Kim and his family spent the early part of his life as refugees from the Japanese occupiers of the Korean peninsula. His family was finally able to return to Korea after WWII. In 1948, Kim traveled to the U.S. to attend college; first attending Berea College where he received a B.A. in Economics in 1952 and then IU where he received a M.B.A in 1954. He continued on to receive a PhD in Economics from Tulane University in 1961. Following graduation after a series of teaching positions at Berea College, University of Akron, Baker University in Kansas, and Texas Tech, he became the eighth president of McMurry College in Abilene, Texas, serving from 1970 to 1993. After retiring as President in 1993, he returned to teaching. He taught Economics at Abilene Christian University and later Hardin-Simmons University.  

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