Ewha President attends Harvard inauguration ceremony
Ewha President attends Harvard inauguration ceremony
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2007.11.05 00:00
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▲ Ewha president Lee Bae-young (right) poses with the newly sworn-in President Drew Giplin Faust, the first female president in Harvard's history.

Ewha President Lee Bae-yong attended the inauguration ceremony of the President of Harvard University, Drew Gilpin Faust on October 12. Faust is the first female to be president of Harvard in 371 years. In such historic event, Harvard chose representatives of prestigious universities around the world. From Korea, only Ewha’s President participated in the ceremony. “I think since Ewha is the largest women’s university in the world with a long history, Ewha was invited to Harvard,” President Lee said.

With a large audience, the ceremony proceeded even in the rain. In the inauguration speech, Faust said, “A university is not about results in the next quarter; it is not even about who a student has become by graduation. It is about learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage of millennia; learning that shapes the future.”

President Lee said, “I was impressed by the power of unity that came from self-respect and pride of Harvard’s faculty and students when the ceremony calmly proceeded with people while wearing raincoats and holding umbrellas.” Lee also added that as the only female president from Asia, she received attention during the ceremony.

Listening to the inauguration speech delivered by Faust, Lee commented, “The longer the history, the longer the light that illuminates the future. Ewha and Harvard which have long history, both believe that universities should not only produce outstanding records but create people who are warm, modest, open, and have a broad vision and insight. After all this, people should have specialties and leadership in their fields.”

Harvard was interested in getting to know Ewha. Thus, President Lee was asked to give a special lecture at the Korea Institute of Harvard University on October 10. The lecture was titled, “Past, Present, and Future of Korean Women in Leadership and Education.” President Lee explained how Korean women built up their potential amid inferior environment of the past, and how Ewha was at the forefront of changing environment for women and thus improving women’s status in society. President Lee condensed two thousand year of history of Korean women in one hour lecture. President Lee said that the audience for the lecture ranged from male professors to students in Harvard University and they told Lee that they were impressed learned a lot.

Talks between the two presidents were held and there were positive outcomes. Ewha was selected as the first Korean partner for Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP). HCAP is an international exchange program that Harvard promotes with Asian countries and only three to five universities in Asia are selected as the partner for the program. President Lee said, “The exchanges with Harvard will be a significant opportunity for Ewha students to develop a global knowledge by experiencing advanced education and culture.” With the HCAP, Ewha students will go to Harvard and Harvard students will come to Ewha to experience politics, economics, and culture of Asia-Pacific region starting from February or March of next year.

Ewha and Harvard also agreed to cooperate for a long-term development of their respective sub-campuses, Paju sub-campus of Ewha and Austin sub-campus of Harvard. Two sub-campuses will become a global campus which will also exchange with each other. In addition, starting from 2008, there will be a Ewha-Harvard Summer School program. There will be further cooperation with Harvard Business School and Korea Cultural Research Institute of Ewha and Korean Institute of Harvard will also have exchanges.

During her visit to Harvard, President Lee also visited Wellesley College which is the largest women’s university in the United States. President Lee said that there is a bond between Wellesley and Ewha because Alice R. Appenzeller who established Shinchon campus of Ewha in 1935 graduated from Wellesley. Due to this background, a lot of buildings and the campus resemble those of Wellesley. President Lee added, “Wellesley and Ewha agreed to promote a World Women Leadership Program which will invite female students not only from two universities but from all around the world.” The two universities will embody the program in April next year when the inauguration ceremony of Wellesley President, Kim Bottomly, takes place.


By Yoo Jung-eun

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