Gift from Alumnus Supports GW Institute for Korean Studies

Donation will help make the university a hub for Korean Studies

Kim family at graduation of Russell Kim '18
(left to right) Myung Sun Shin, Pearl Chungbin Kim, Russell Kim, B.A. '17, Tom Chong Hoon Kim, B.A. ’58, M.A. ’61, and Eugene Kim at the GW Commencement in May 2017
March 19, 2018

A GW alumnus and his wife have made a $750,000 gift to GW to support the Institute for Korean Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

The gift creates the Tom and Pearl Kim Endowment, which will enhance the institute’s work, especially in forging links between the humanities and other disciplines and schools at GW while promoting collaboration among scholars and policymakers who are critical to the overall field of Korean studies.

For donors Tom Chong Hoon Kim (B.A. ’58, M.A. ’61) and Mrs. Pearl Chungbin Kim, GW runs in the family. Their grandson, Russell Kim (B.A. ’17), was the one who introduced his grandparents to the institute and its work.

“I feel a strong attachment to GW, and have many fond memories of the years I spent at the university,” said Tom Chong Hoon Kim, who has enjoyed a long career as a business leader in America. “We are pleased to support the Institute for Korean Studies and its mission to enhance understanding of Korean history, and the country in general.”

The Institute for Korean Studies, launched in January 2017, comprises an interdisciplinary group of core faculty from the Elliott School and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

“On behalf of the Elliott School, I’d like to express our gratitude to the Kim family for their generosity and support of the GW Institute for Korean Studies,” Dean Reuben Brigety II said. “This gift will grow the existing Korean Studies program and ensure that rigorous scholarship of the Korean humanities will continue for future generations to benefit from."

GW and Korea maintain a strong relationship: With nearly 1,000 alumni, the country is home to the largest number of GW alumni living outside the U.S. More than 200 students from Korea are currently studying at GW.

The relationship will now grow stronger.

Institute Director and Associate Professor Jisoo Kim added that the Kim’s gift will “help make GW the hub of Korean studies in the nation’s capital and beyond.”


This story was originally published in GW Today.

GW Institute for Korean Studies

Institute for Korean Studies

The Institute for Korean Studies enhances academic programs, faculty members, and scholarly activities by promoting collaboration and partnerships across the university, expanding the depth and breadth of Korean Studies at GW by focusing on a humanities approach, hosting events, beginning new courses, and increasing access to reference materials.

Learn more about GWIKS