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.  

Heart and Seoul: Early Korean Students at Indiana University

As part of Korea Remixed, a campus-wide initiative to celebrate Korean culture, this spring the IU Archives is recognizing the earliest Korean students to become Hoosiers! Via a series of blog posts and an upcoming poster in the Wells Library Lobby, you will get a peek into the lives of four IU alumni from Korea while on the Bloomington campus and the ways they excelled afterwards.

Whether you’re a fan of K-pop, Kimchi, or their extensive skincare routines, there is a lot to love and appreciate about Korean culture. Respecting your elders and authority, caring deeply for family, and working together to advance their nation are all core values in Korea. Even up to recent years, it was not uncommon that younger generations had to leave their family behind in Korea to pursue better educational opportunities in order to create a better life for their family. While many later return to their homeland, some go on to become citizens of the United States and remain here for the rest of their lives. Acknowledging the hardships and perseverance each of the following early IU students from Korean went through in the pursuit of higher education brings a new perspective on the many different paths to excellence.



Eung Tyun Cho (Pyeng Yang, Korea) (PhD in Physics, 1928)

Before coming to the United States, Eung Tyun Cho, born circa 1897, attended a Korean Presbyterian Mission School followed by a Presbyterian Boys’ Academy for his secondary education. As a young adult, he attended Union Christian College where he received his bachelor’s degree. Upon graduation, Cho returned to Mission High School as a math teacher to teach young students much like his younger self, eventually working his way up to become superintendent of the high school. Despite his accomplishments, Cho felt the need to gain more education to better serve his home country, so he chose to leave his family at his father’s home so that he could travel to the United States – and Indiana – in 1922. Once in the Hoosier state, Cho enrolled in Tri-State College in Angola, where he earned a BS in civil engineering before continuing on to Purdue University to earn his MS in physics. (Indianapolis Star, 1928).

Eung Tyun Cho entered Indiana University in 1925 in pursuit of his PhD and a few years later was made a member of Sigma Xi, an honorary science organization (Indianapolis Star, 1928). To support himself financially during his student years, he did housework, mowed lawns, janitorial work, and other odd jobs he could find (1930 Census for Bloomington, Indiana). Cho specialized in research about radio and TV, completing his dissertation on the topic “A study of three-electrode vacuum tube oscillator: conditions for maximum current ”. In addition to his technological research, he published works on language learning, one being Spoken English, a manual for Korean teachers of spoken English and for students who were learning the English language (Indianapolis Star, 1928).

1927 black and white photo of the cosmopolitan club members, which were largely international students.

The 1927 Cosmopolitan Club which was largely comprised of international students such as Cho, IU Archives P0109572


After completing his studies at IU, Cho wished to return to Korea in order to be a scientific educator to young students like himself. At the time Cho was one of only 12 men in Korea to have a PhD! Even with his impressive credentials, some Korean authorities frowned upon his work, calling it a “waste of time”, which kept him from his dream of teaching. His research and science experiments lacked funding, so he had to give them up. He remarked, “I am a man without a country” (The Bedford Sunday Star, 1936).

Taking a break from his educational and scientific interests, Cho served three years as chief of police communications during the US Military Government period after Korea was liberated from the Japanese in 1945. He then served eight years in the Korean Army, four as chief signal officer. He later was appointed as vice minister of the Korean Ministry of Communications (The Daily Record, 1954). Before, during, and after his career, Cho participated in church communities as well as the YMCA in America and Korea.

And, finally for a satisfying conclusion. In 1964, Eung Tyun Cho became the new president of Tongkuk Engineering College in Seoul, Korea. After decades of perseverance, he became an educator, while at the same time reuniting permanently with his wife and children (The Indianapolis News, 1964).

**This blog post is the first in a two-part series. The next installment will features three more alumni from Korea. Pongsoon Lee, Chonghan Kim, and Thomas Kunhyuk Kim.

Whose Building is it Anyway?

As you walk through Indiana University’s beautiful Bloomington campus, do you ever wonder who is cool enough to have their name attached to a whole building? If so, you’ve come to the right place! The Old Crescent buildings are named after some of the earliest and key figures here at IU Bloomington.

For those who do not know what the Old Crescent is, it is the area between 3rd Street and Indiana Avenue and includes the oldest structures on our IUB campus. The buildings – Wylie, Owen, Mitchell, Maxwell, Kirkwood, Lindley, Franklin, and Swain Halls, along with the Frances Morgan Swain Student Building, Kirkwood Observatory, Rose Well House, and Sample Gates – form a crescent shape, hence the name.

The land now known as Monroe County was originally home to the Delaware, Potawatomi, Miami, Shawnee, and Eel River Miami tribes. These populations were largely displaced through conflict with white settlers during the nineteenth century, and eventually the Dunn family owned much of the property IU now calls home. After the university experienced several devastating fires at its Seminary Square location south of the courthouse, IU purchased land from the Dunn family as it looked to rebuild and expand in the future.

Sepia tone photo of Owen and Wylie Halls, looking north.
Owen and Wylie Halls, 1897. Source: IU Archives P0029980

The first two buildings on the current campus were Wylie Hall (1884) and Owen Hall (1884). The first is named after Andrew Wylie, IU’s first president, and longtime professor Theophilus A. Wylie (who also happened to be President Wylie’s cousin!). Owen Hall is named for Richard Owen, a geology professor and Indiana’s second State Geologist.


Black and white photo of Dunn Woods with homes that can be seen through the woods and a man standing on a boardwalk to the right
Dunn’s Woods and Bloomington, 1890. Source: IU Archives P0022323

Dunn Meadow/Woods – The Dunn family owned the land that would become Dunn Meadow, Dunn’s Woods, and the Dunn Cemetery (though only the Woods are considered part of the Old Crescent). They were farmers who allowed IU to purchase their land to expand the campus.

Black and white photograph showing Dunn Meadow and the Campus River
Dunn Meadow from the west looking east, 1891. Source: IU Archives P0023330

Front view of the Rose Well House in the middle of Dunn Woods covering the well pump
Source: IU Archives P0020079

Rose Well House (1908) – Have a lover you want to smooch under the midnight moon? Rose Well House has you covered! This popular kissing spot was originally constructed to address a more basic kind of thirst – as a functioning well, it provided relief to Bloomington residents during times of drought. The structure is named after alumnus, banker, and Board of Trustees chair Theodore Rose, who helped design the house with arches salvaged from the Old College Building at IU’s original Seminary Square campus.


Sepia tone photograph of Maxwell Hall through the trees of Dunn's Woods
Source: IU Archives P002221


Maxwell Hall (1890) – Originally Library Hall, Maxwell Hall is named after David Henry Maxwell. Also known as the “Father of IU,” Maxwell petitioned the state for the establishment of the state seminary (1820) that would transform into the university we known today. He served as a trustee for decades, and his son followed in his footsteps.


Newly built Student Building next to the  beloved IU sundial
Source: IU Archives P0030001

The Frances Morgan Swain Student Building (1906) is one of the few Bloomington campus buildings named after a woman. Frances Morgan Swain, wife of President Joseph Swain, had hoped for a Women’s building to draw in female students and create an environment for them to thrive. In soliciting John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for financial support, however, he agreed to match $50,000 only if the building served all of IU’s students.

Fun fact, or maybe a not-so-fun fact, in 1990 the student building clock tower burned down and took several of the original bells with it. Reconstruction however began right away, which included forging eleven new bells. A bonus fun fact for when you have a class in room 015 — Take a deep inhale and see if you can get a whiff of chlorine since that room used to house the women’s swimming pool!


Fall view of Kirkwood, the red brick road and sample gates surrounded by fall flowers.
Source: IU Archives P0028067


Sample Gates (1987) – Sorry to burst some bubbles, but the rumors of the Sample Gates name coming from there only being a sample of what was supposed to be an elaborate gate, is not true. The name comes from Edson Sample’s parents, Kimsey Sample Sr. and Louise Sample. Edson was the director of financial aid and scholarships and had huge ambitions for a welcoming gate to the university. At the time there was significant opposition to this plan, and construction was postponed for a while, but the project moved forward to become one of our campus’s most iconic structures.


Franklin Hall during a fire. Smoke pours out of a window while people stand outside.
Source: IU Archives P0027314


Franklin Hall (1907) – Maxwell Hall’s library was filled to capacity, and IU was in the need of more library space. President Bryan wanted a state-of-the-art library and made sure it was done right. This was the largest building in the Old Crescent at the time, and another wing added was in the 1930s. The purpose of the building was later changed to Student Services, and eventually named after Joseph Amos Franklin, an alumnus, treasurer, and Vice President at Indiana University.


Kirkwood Hall from a side view
Kirkwood Hall, 1907. Source: IU Archives P0020040
Back view of the Kirkwood observatory
Kirkwood Observatory, undated. Source: IU Archives P0020547

Kirkwood Hall (1894) and Kirkwood Observatory (1900) – Named in honor of longtime mathematics professor Daniel Kirkwood. Kirkwood was also a well respected astronomer and made a major contribution to the field with his Kirkwood Gaps discovery.


Black and white image of the front view of Lindley hall.
Source: IU Archives P0058322

Lindley Hall (1902) – Originally named Science Hall and housing – you guessed it – IU’s science facilities, there was a lot of love and detail put into the construction of this building. It was the most expensive building at IU when it was built in 1902 — vibration free, fireproof, temperature controlled, and constructed from state of the art heavy steel. Over they years, it has housed many department and schools, including the School of Medicine, the School of Education, and the departments of Physics, Philosophy, Geology, Geography, and Psychology. Lindley Hall is a very versatile building, named for a very versatile man. Ernest Lindley was a professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy/Psychology, president of University of Idaho and chancellor of University of Kansas. Lindley was a Hoosier at heart: he was a Bloomington native, an IU graduate, and a longtime professor who also aided in the creation of IU’s alma mater, rhyming “frangipana” with “gloriana” and “Indiana”.


Front view of the ivy covered Swain East in black and white.
Source: IU Archives P0033929

Swain Hall East (1910) – was originally Biology Hall and is oftentimes called the “Home of IU Laureates” for being the place of research for many Nobel Prize winning researchers. Swain Hall is named for Joseph Swain, professor of mathematics and IU’s ninth president.

That’s all for now, folks! Much of this information was pulled from Indiana University Bloomington: America’s Legacy Campus by IU Vice President Emeritus J. Terry Clapacs with Susan Moke and the University Archives’ very own Dina Kellams and Carrie Schwier. The book gives thorough descriptions of IUB’s architecture, including photos and tons of fun facts! A new updated edition will be available through the IU Press in September!