Many alumni of the University of Seoul (UOS) work very hard in a variety of fields, and they have enhanced the reputation of UOS. Therefore, as part of our celebration of the UOS centenary anniversary, The UOS Times met a few of these great alumni and listened to their stories about their university days, as well as their opinions about UOS and their messages of congratulations.
Q :Can you tell us about your memories of being a university student? A : I enjoyed studying for the CPA test and tax attorney exam with my friends, and playing with them in their rooms. I also talked happily with seniors and colleagues while drinking together at the Sky Pond, although drinking on campus is prohibited now. These are my most precious memories.
Q : What do you think about the development process at UOS? A : I think that UOS has made great advances in many ways. For example, the number of students has increased, and many buildings have been built on the campus, such as the 21st Century Building, Mirae Hall, and the new Music Building. However, the surroundings of the campus have not yet improved. I know many UOS students go far from the school area for recreation and socializing because the surrounding area does not provide good places for them to meet. Although it is a little difficult to take on the responsibilities of developing surrounding areas, I hope that UOS will make a positive contribution to local development by cooperating with the Seoul city government.
Q : Is there anything you would like to say to UOS students? A : I think that UOS students are very kind, and they work hard and study hard, but they seem to lack leadership. In addition, they tend to go forward through one way only, not searching for other ways of life. For example, if they major in engineering, they try to focus on only that major, not caring about other fields. So, I would like to see UOS students have more courage to lead other people and to explore the many different ways of life that are available to them.
Q : Would you like to send us any messages of congratulations for the centenary of the university’s founding? A : As a professor at UOS, I am so glad that UOS is celebrating the centenary of its founding. Starting as an agricultural university, UOS has gone through a number of changes over these one hundred years and has now become the only municipal university in Korea. I hope that UOS will keep going forward, as it always has.
Q : Can you tell us about your memories of when you were a university student? A : Now, many young people study for their state examinations at relatively good facilities such as the private educational institute in Noryangjin, but my place for studying was the main library at UOS. Because many protests were held at Cheongnyangni in my college days, the bad smell of tear gas spread out around campus, and I had difficulty studying at the university. Once, my friends came to the library with their bodies covered in tear gas. I had to stop studying and take a shower with them to remove the tear gas. These are my unforgettable experiences.
Q : What do you think about the development process at UOS? A : My colleagues who used to visit UOS once told me that they were surprised to see how much the campus has changed. Back in my day, about 320 new students enrolled each year, but I’ve heard that currently there are about 1,700 newly enrolled students. This fact shows the great growth of UOS. Moreover, good facilities and buildings, such as the student dormitory, have been built successfully. For that, I thank the administration for their constant, dedicated effort. I hope that UOS continues to develop effectively and systematically.
Q : Would you like to say to say anything to UOS students? A : Although communication problems have partially solved through advances in science and technology, it is still important that one party learn to speak the language of the other for effective, smooth communication. So, I want to advise UOS students to become proficient in any foreign language. It is not just a TOEIC score, but a skill to express oneself using good language. I recommend UOS students to try to read many books written in their original foreign languages before graduating.
Q : Do you have any opinions or suggestions the administration? A : Personally, I eagerly hope that UOS establishes a College of Medicine. Many of the medical institutions in Seoul are managed by private university hospitals. So, I think that if a medical college is established at UOS, which is a public university, many local citizens will benefit from cheap, high-quality medical service. That is enough reason to justify this entering the medical education field.
Q : Can you tell us about your memories of when you were a university student? A : Every memory from my university years is precious. Drinking with professors at the foot of Baebongsan Mountain, which is now not allowed, climbing Hallasan Mountain without enough food due to lack of preparation, studying hard for the bar exam, having a meeting with my juniors after passing the exam, and several other stories are all precious memories to me.
Q : What do you think were the strengths and weaknesses of UOS when you were its student? A : One thing I liked about UOS was that it had a neat campus. As UOS is a city university, unlike private universities, the entrance quota is comparatively small. So, UOS has fewer students compared to its area of campus, which leads many to appreciate the campus as a neat, pretty park.
During the 1980s, UOS had outstanding students and departments. However, due to lack of promotion, the university was often undervalued. Some people knew UOS as a prominent university, while others were not even aware of it.
Q : What do you think about the development process at UOS? A : In order to take a step forward, a medical college should be established at UOS. Trying take over the medical college of Seonam University was a good attempt, and it is a sad fact that it failed. As far as I know Seoul National University (SNU) is opposed to the establishment of a medical college at UOS. Therefore, UOS should persuade the parties concerned by asserting that the role of the medical college of UOS would before the welfare of the citizens, while the medical college of SNU should concentrate on contributing to the progress of medical science along with other leading national general hospitals.
Q : Would you like to send UOS any congratulations for its centenary? A : I entered the School of Law at UOS in 1984 and graduated in 1991. I received a scholarship after admission and benefited a lot from the university and the country. One thing I have decided to do during my 23 years as a prosecutor is to give back what I received and be a benefit to the country by serving it.
It is the 100th anniversary of UOS. It started as a small school, and this makes me feel that time moves on very quickly. I also realize that my alma mater is continues to progress after my graduation. I believe that if both current and former students continue to endeavor for our university’s progress, UOS will become an even better place. Let us progress together for a better UOS. I wish all of you good luck.
Q : Can you tell us about your memories of when you were a university student? A : During my university days, the UOS campus had many undeveloped places where school life felt like rural life. I also remember when I was a freshman, and I won an award in the 10km marathon in the university athletic competition, winning points for the Department of English Language and Literature..
Q : What do you think were the strengths and weaknesses of UOS when you were a student? A : I like the fact that I could study with my classmates with a sense of friendliness and kinship since the number of freshmen each year did not exceed 1,000, and the campus was not large. However, I felt that there was a lack of activities in and out of school as there was no diversity in students and UOS was not well known at that time.
Q : When did you feel proud as a UOS graduate? A : I’ve always felt proud as a UOS graduate. However, I also feel proud when UOS graduates get recognized as essential members of an organization and society.
Q : Do you have any suggestions for UOS? A : Because UOS is operated by the municipal government of Seoul, strong influence from the mayor is inevitable. However, if UOS graduates become leaders of the various groups they are affiliated with, UOS will transcend its natural limits and become a key educational institute that influences the future of this country. Additionally, I think that if there are more UOS graduates among the faculty, they will care more about the younger generations of their alma mater, leading to a positive result.
Q : Would you like to congratulate UOS on its centenary? A : First of all, as a graduate who greets the UOS’s centenary, I sincerely feel overflowing delight. I believe that every graduate will do their best in their social roles using this delight as an energizer, and supporting the substantial growth of UOS. Therefore, I root for my alma mater to become a prestigious university that gets attention from all around the world. Finally, I wish for the continuing progress of UOS.
This article reveals the interest and affection towards their alma mater of only four graduates. There are thousands of graduates not mentioned in this article who care about UOS. With such passionate support, UOS will always move forward.