On May 25 and 26, University of Michigan alumni from around the globe gathered at the ninth annual U-M Pan-Asia Alumni Reunion in Seoul, Korea. Rackham Dean Michael Solomon and Director of Development Jill McDonough attended and met with international alumni and some of Korea’s leaders in higher education.
The weekend kicked off with an opening reception on Friday evening and continued into Saturday morning when Rackham hosted a breakfast for Barbour Scholarship alumnae. Six women, including a pair of sisters, from three different countries joined the breakfast and exchanged lively conversation about their time on U-M’s campus and what their experiences as Barbour Scholars meant to them. Attendees included Okyeon Yi (Barbour 1997), Mauricia Borromeo (Barbour 1972), Eun-Kyung Park (Barbour 1969), Sooyun Park (Barbour 1964), Eun-Wha Park (Barbour 1988), and Palarp Sinhaseni (Barbour 1979). A memorable topic of conversation revolved around women’s empowerment around the world and how recipients of the Barbour Scholarship could play an active role in a global society.
Programming during the reunion included seminars conducted by U-M faculty on a diverse range of topics including leadership, genomics and cancer research, and the digital economy. At the reunion luncheon, U-M President Mark S. Schlissel and Korea’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance Dong-Yeon Kim shared the stage for a conversation on the future of higher education around the world. Dr. Kim, a Rackham alumnus, earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in public policy from Michigan as a Fulbright Scholar.
Attendees then enjoyed dinner with their affiliated schools and colleges. Rackham and the College of Engineering teamed up to co-host a dinner this year, allowing alumni to celebrate another successful reunion with both units.
During the trip, Mike and Jill met one-on-one with Rackham alumni, including Ku-Hyun Jung (Ph.D. 1976), the new president of the U-M Korean Alumni Association, his wife Eun-Kyung Park (Ph.D. 1971, Barbour 1969) and Professor Yoon-Dae Euh (Ph.D. 1978), former president of Korea University. Mike and Jill also met with Seongmoon Kim (Ph.D. ‘03) and Byung-Shik Rhee (Ph.D. ‘01), faculty members and senior administrators at Yonsei University, to discuss graduate education at the international level. The conversation included the exchange of ideas and best practices, focusing on ways in which the graduate experience can become more global.
Outside of academic conversation and scheduled activities, attendees also visited the Korea Furniture Museum, where leadership from U-M and the Korean Alumni Association had lunch and got to “play tourist” with a tour of the museum and the exploration of artistic cultural artifacts.