Gachon University president Lee Gil-ya received a plaque of appreciation from the Korean community in Hawaii on Sunday, the university said.
The United Korean Association of Hawaii presented the plaque during a ceremony at the association in Honolulu to mark the 110th anniversary of Korean immigration to the islands, which falls on Jan. 13.
Austin Ki Kang, president of the United Korean Association of Hawaii, said that the center has boosted Korean pride and contributed greatly to the development of the Korean community in Hawaii.
|Gachon University president Lee Gil-ya (right) poses with Austin Ki Kang, president of the United Korean Association of Hawaii, after receiving a plaque of appreciation from him in Honolulu on Sunday. (Gachon University)|
Gachon in Seongnam, a suburb south of Seoul, opened Gachon-Hawaii Education Center, a language training center with a dormitory, in Honolulu on Feb. 1 last year. It is the first language center with a boarding house in Honolulu that was built by a Korean university.
Honolulu designated Feb. 1 as an official day to recognize the center.
Last year, 295 students completed the center’s global education program, and about 60 students a month attend the center over this winter vacation.
Gachon University students who study at the center, take language classes and also participate in volunteer projects including a campaign to clean up Hawaiian beaches.
“Our ancestors who immigrated to Hawaii labored hard at sugar cane plantations and sent their wages back home to help Korean independence fighters,” Lee said. “The center was built to repay their patriotism and hard work for Korea, as well as to produce global leaders who can contribute to the country.”
Two Korean mayors, Incheon Mayor Song Young-gil and Goyang Mayor Choi Sung, and former Mayor of Honolulu Peter Carlisle visited the center Sunday and asked students not to forget the 110-year history of Korean immigration to the state.
The Korean immigration to Hawaii, which was also the start of the Korean community in the U.S., officially began with 102 Koreans disembarking at Honolulu Harbor on Jan. 13, 1903, from a U.S. steam ship Gaelic, which had left Incheon on Dec. 22, 1902.
By Chun Sung-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org