$1.25-million gift to fund Korean literature chair
A $1.25-million gift from the Seoul-based International Communication
Foundation (ICF) will help establish UBC as a major centre of Korean
language and literature in Canada.
The ICF gift, fully matched by UBC, will fund the Young Bin Min
Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation in the Asian
Studies Dept. A search for a world leader in the study of Korean
literature and Korean to English translation to fill the chair will
"UBC and ICF share an appreciation of the significance and importance
of Korean language and culture," says UBC President Martha Piper.
"Now, with the support of the ICF, we feel our program will be unequaled."
Class enrollments and the university's Korean library is growing
steadily, says Asian Studies Assoc. Prof. Ross King.
"It's clear that students have an interest in, and a demand for,
Korean studies," he says. "The chair will in turn attract other
outstanding teachers and researchers, allowing students to interact
with some of the best Korean scholars in the world."
The chair is named for Young Bin Min, the founder of ICF and YBM
Si-sa, one of the leading publishers in Korea. He founded the ICF
to raise the profile of Korean literature overseas. This donation
is the largest international gift that the foundation has made.
The chair will build on UBC's strengths in Korean studies, which
also include the Centre for Korean Research and exchange agreements
with 12 Korean universities and institutes. A recent agreement established
a joint academic program with Korea University, which will bring
approximately 100 Korean students to UBC each year.