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A Korean American Graduate Donates Lifetime Retirement Savings t...
  • Writer : Communications Team
  • Hits : 131
  • Date : 2020-11-12

A Korean American Graduate Donates Lifetime Retirement Savings
to Alma Mater

Alumnus Yoon, Heung-noh donates USD 870,000 (KRW 10.4 billion),
a sum that he saved during his 47 years in the US.


윤흥노 교우

▲ Alumnus Yoon, Heung-noh


Yoon, Heung-noh (’64, College of Medicine), a Korean American, made a USD 870,000 (approximately KRW 1040 million) donation to the Korea University Medical Center through the International Foundation for Korea University (IFKU). 

After graduating from the College of Medicine, Yoon immigrated to the US in 1973. At that time, the US, which was short of doctors due to the Vietnam War, was opening its doors to foreign physicians, which led 300 out of 800 Korean medical school graduates to pursue their careers there. When Yoon was undergoing his medical resident training in Washington, D.C. in 1975, African American residents of Anacostia visited him one day. Devastated by the assassination of Martin Luther King, they asked Yoon if he could open a clinic in their neighborhood. With his desire to become a doctor like Albert Schweitzer, Yoon opened a clinic in Anacostia in 1978, and has been working there for over 40 years.  

Yoon said, “I have never experienced any conflicts with the residents and have had the reward of practicing medicine in a place that needs doctors as much as anywhere else.” As a progressive social activist, he has served as the head of the Washington Chapter of the National Unification Advisory Council since August 2017, and as the Board Director of the Washington Branch of the Center for Historical Truth and Justice since last November. Yoon has also worked hard to promote the legitimacy of the peaceful reunification of Korea by meeting with US politicians and their aides who work on policies related to the Korean peninsula. Moreover, he has supported the unearthing and examination of historical documents related to US-Japan diplomacy in the Library of Congress in Washington and various other archives.  

He had donated his lifetime retirement savings to his alma mater. During a conversation about his life in the US and the motivation behind this donation, Yoon said, “I am truly indebted to my alma mater in many ways, which led me to want to return the favor. I thank my wife who willingly agreed to my plans and encouraged me to donate as soon as possible.”

Due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, KU’s plan to visit the American alumni association in the US was unfortunately canceled. Instead, KU President Chung Jin Taek recently held an online video conference with the alumni, making clear his appreciation of their regard for Korea University, and delivering Chuseok greetings. He told Yoon that “The donation, made up of your lifetime savings that you worked so hard for, will be used to cultivate future intellectuals and for the development of KU.”

Kim, Young-hoon, KU Vice President for Medical Affairs, announced his gratitude by saying, “I would like to express my profound respect to Mr. Yoon, who has devoted his life to one of the places where medical care is most needed. His valuable donation, the result of his heartfelt sincerity, will be used by the KU Medical Center to conduct research that can contribute to advances in cutting-edge medical technology.”        

According to IRS regulations, if a taxpayer residing in the US donates through IFKU, they are eligible for a tax deduction. IFKU plans to offer Yoon IRS tax deduction consultation services, provided by local experts in the US. The entire amount donated through IFKU will be deposited in KU's bank account. IFKU was established in New York in October 1997, with the contribution and support of US alumni, and the organization has donated over USD 8 million to KU over the past 23 years.  

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