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"It’s a Blessing": Lawyer Couple Donates 82 Acres of Land
(From right: International IP Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (IIPAC) Chairman Kim Cheol-ho, his wife Korea Abraham Lincoln Society Founder Kwak Sung-hyun, President Shin and Mrs Shin)
Korea Abraham Lincoln Society Founder Kwak Sung-hyun and International IP Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (IIPAC) Chairman Kim Cheol-ho have committed to donate a large tract of land to KAIST during a ceremony on July 3. The couple will donate about 82 acres of land located in Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province. The value of the property is estimated at over 10 billion won.
Kim, a lawyer who taught at the Moon Soul Graduate School of Future Strategy from 2009 to 2014, said, “It is a real blessing to make a gift to KAIST."
The property is a part of family inheritance that has been passed down for generations. “We’ve thought about the right way to give back to society from a long-term perspective. KAIST will be the best place to honor my father’s generosity and spirit to help young students,” Kwak said at the ceremony.
Kwak’s late father who was also a lawyer was a big landowner in Seongnam City back in the 1970s. But he also had to buy nearby parcels of land because he could not refuse the local farmers asking him to buy their land when they urgently needed to sell their property to pay their children’s college tuition fees. So, he bought the land, paying more than double the asking price.
The couple finalized their donation plan after having a meeting with President Sung-Chul Shin earlier this year. President Shin personally guided them on a campus tour and presented his vision to make KAIST a world-class university.
“We were quite moved by President Shin and the faculty members’ passion and hard work. And we really wanted to help KAIST be the real top university in the world by educating young talents needed for the new era,” Kim said.
President Shin said the university will use the land to establish a new campus for entrepreneurship that combines education, research, and technology commercialization so that it can become an advance base in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.