SNU Holds 70th Fall Semester Graduation Ceremony

SNU 70th Fall Semester Graduation Ceremony
SNU 70th Fall Semester Graduation Ceremony

On August 29, SNU held its 70th fall semester graduation ceremony at the Gwanak Campus Gymnasium. The university awarded degrees to 2,428 graduates, with 851 bachelors, 1,000 masters and 577 doctorates.

This year’s valedictorian was CHOI Kyo Yun (Department of Industrial Engineering), who was recognized by the university for his countless social service and volunteer efforts both in and outside the campus. Choi, who previously expressed that he “learned to share” during his university years, was the first SNU student to represent the graduating class for efforts in community service.

The congratulatory speech was delivered Dr. KIM In Kwon, Director Emeritus of the Wilson Leprosy Center and Rehabilitation Hospital. He addressed the graduates, saying, “Each one of you is unique and much needed by society. … At times, you may find yourself in a difficult position and feel disappointed and discouraged. But once you realize that you have a distinct talent that no one else has, you will gain self-confidence.”

Dr. KIM In Kwon is giving the commencement speech
Dr. KIM In Kwon is giving the commencement speech

Dr. Kim, who graduated from SNU College of Medicine in 1975, turned down an offer of the position as an SNU professor in order to pursue a career that he found more fulfilling: treating patients with Hansen’s disease and polio at the Wilson Leprosy Center. Although he had no connections with the Center when he first decided to work there 34 years ago, Dr. Kim expressed that he has always felt confident about his decision because of his belief that he was doing meaningful work.

With regard to career decisions, Dr. Kim emphasized two points throughout his congratulatory speech:

First, Dr. Kim advised against looking for a job that is too good. A job that everyone wants will most likely put people under harsh competition where mistakes are not tolerated. As a result, he explained, surviving in such an environment is very difficult. “Those who manage to survive will have eventually lost much of their emotional sensitivity.”

Second, Dr. Kim asserted that after beginning their career, students should do their utmost best, and also enjoy their work. His advice was that rather than completing a task in a manner that shows off your competence, “putting forth your sincerest effort will enable you to enjoy what you do.” In concluding his speech, Dr. Kim expressed his wishes that the graduating students choose a career path that will give them lasting satisfaction.

SNU President SUNG Nak-in also offered a few words of advice to the graduates: “Because our society places a high level of expectation on you, always be modest and considerate about others. … I would like to earnestly request that SNU graduates actively promote universal human values.”

Written by YOON Jiwon, SNU English Editor,
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations,