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Park gift will support Miami-Korean university exchanges

11/05/2009

Elinora Bo Hyun Park, a Korean-American businesswoman, has made a gift of $500,000 to Miami University’s Farmer School of Business in support of scholarships for international study.

Park, who came to the U.S. from her native Korea to attend college in 1963, has established the Park Scholarship Endowment. Income generated from the endowment will assist Miami University students who want to study in Korea, and Korean university students who want to study at Miami.

“I believe international study is an increasingly essential part of education in a competitive global environment,” Park explained. “Studying abroad is a great opportunity for learning about culture and gaining an understanding of human relationships.”

When Park and her late husband, Richard, made the decision to study in the United States, they found the change in culture and language very challenging. They had little support, either from their families or their Korean university.

“During that period, however, we learned the most,” Park says. “We also conceived our dream of building a scholarship endowment to help students in higher education have that kind of cross-cultural experience.”

Park and her husband never returned to Korea to live. After completing their master’s degrees at Wayne State University and Tennessee Tech, respectively, they moved to Cincinnati and founded Tedia Company, Inc., a high-purity chemical manufacturing company located in Fairfield. Richard Park died 20 years ago; his widow continued as head of the company until she retired in 2006, and then became chairman, a post she retains today.

In establishing the endowment, Elinora Park said she knows her late husband would share her great pleasure in providing financial assistance to support Korea-Miami student exchanges.

“I pray that all recipients of this scholarship will receive a life-changing learning experience and conceive their own dreams for the future,” she said.

“I was humbled when Elinora shared with me the dream she and her late husband had cherished,” said Dr. Sooun Lee, professor and director of the Farmer School’s Higgin Kim Asia Business Program.

“Without a doubt, this endowment will give a major boost to the Higgin Kim Asia Business Program and will help expand student and faculty exchanges between Miami and partner universities in Korea, benefiting those individuals and Miami University as a whole.

“I am very, very proud of what Elinora has accomplished in her life, and extremely honored that she would choose to share her resources with us.”

“The Farmer School’s goal is to enable 100 percent of our undergraduate students to participate in a study-abroad program, as a critical element in their preparation for leadership in a global market,” said Farmer School Dean Roger Jenkins. “Increased financial aid is essential if we are to attain that goal. Because of her own study-abroad experience as a student, and her generosity of heart, Mrs. Park has made a gift that brings us closer to our goal.”

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