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Dr. Mun Y. Choi, The First Asian American President of the University of Mis-souri System, Is Awarded an Honorary Doctorate at POSTECH

2019.02.18 POSTECH IR News



Dr. Mun Y. Choi, who is the first Asian American to become president of the University of Missouri System in 177 years of its history, is awarded an honorary doctorate at POSTECH.


POSTECH decided to award an honorary doctorate of mechanical engineering to President Mun Y. Choi and, the degree was awarded to him at the 2019 POSTECH Matriculation Ceremony held in the auditorium of the university on February 15.


President Choi, the world’s renowned scholar in thermal engineering, immigrated to Ohio, U.S.A with his family at the age of nine and, he received his master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University.


After serving as a faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago and Drexel University, he was appointed as a dean of engineering at the University of Connecticut (UConn) in 2008. In 2012, he took on a role as a provost and executive vice president of the university. During his term in the office, he led development of research capabilities and increased industrial partnerships, making the UConn a top 25 national university.


Acknowledging his leadership, the University of Missouri System with its 177 years of history appointed him as the first Asian American president to oversee its four campuses and 77,000 faculty and staff in March 2017.


At the ceremony, President Doh-Yeon Kim of POSTECH comment-ed in his welcoming speech, “President Mun Y. Choi immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. As a 1.5 generation immigrant, he might have faced countless difficulties, however, he has made distinctive research achievements and contributed to development of science and technology and higher education through his innovative leadership. I am confident that he will inspire many newcomers, students, faculty and staff of POSTECH as a person who has well illustrated our motto; creativity, integrity, and aspiration.”


In response, President Mun Y. Choi said, “I am very honored to be-come a part of POSTECH that has declared to be a value-creating university for a better future of the nation and the humanity.” He also encouraged students saying, “Although I have become the first Asian American president of the University of Missouri System, my youth was very normal and there was no extraordinary thing in those past days. If I can do it, you can do it, too.”


With reference to honorary doctorate, POSTECH has been awarded honorary doctorates to distinguished people in the nation and around the globe, who remarkably attributed to development of academia, the nation, and humanity. After Dr. Roderick MacKinnon of Rockefeller University, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, first received the degree in 2006, it was awarded to six more individuals including Dr. Jeong-Hoon Kim, former president of Bell Labs in 2010, Dr. Peter S. Kim, former president of Merck Research Laboratories in 2011, Seok-hyun Hong, chairmain of JoongAng Holdings in 2016, Ryoji Noyori, Nobel laureate and endowed chair faculty of Nagoya University and Jin-kyu Huh, chairman of Iljin Group in 2018.