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HUFS cherishes memory of devoted president

The statue of Park Solemn, former president of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, who made a great contribution to the foundation of the school, is unveiled on the school campus on Monday. (HUFS)
The statue of Park Solemn, former president of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, who made a great contribution to the foundation of the school, is unveiled on the school campus on Monday. (HUFS)

Hundreds of students and professors of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies commemorated former president Park Solemn on Monday, who made a great contribution to the development of the school.

The event was highlighted by the erection of his bronze statue on campus and the issuing of his biography and photos.

“I entered the Spanish language department in 1968 when Park served as the sixth president of the school and could see how the school developed prominently under his leadership. I feel obliged to step up efforts to emulate his passion for and dedication to our school,” said HUFS President Park Chul in the ceremony.

Park had been president and a devoted scholar of HUFS for more than 23 years from the 1950s to the 1970s. He made the proposal to found the country’s first foreign language university with a belief that producing linguistically talented individuals with global minds was the fastest way for South Korea to get out of poverty and achieve economic development during the 1950s. 
Park Solemn
Park Solemn

As the fifth Social Affairs Minister under the first South Korean President Syngman Rhee from 1952-1955, he played an important role in the school getting government permit for foundation and renting a school building.

Park is also regarded as one of the nation’s first experts on English education for paving the way for the development of English education in Korea. He published many English textbooks and grammar books, having taught English at Seoul-based Whimoon High School and later served as its principal from 1924-1947.

Many graduates of Whimoon High School raised contributions for the memorial.

“I am happy to build a bridge between our teacher and his students with our love for school,” said Yun Yoon-su, CEO of Fila Korea Ltd., who graduated from Whimoon and studied politics and diplomacy at HUFS.

Park served as an English-to-Korean interpreter for the Air Force Chief of Staff from 1950-1952 during the Korean War. He helped the Korean military receive F-15 fighter jets from the U.S. military as grant aid.

Park spent his latter years writing English education books, including his last and 12th English grammar book “School English Grammar” in 1981.

He died two years later at age 82.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)
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