[EDITORIALS]To the Underwoods: Thank youThe Underwoods have served the Korean people for four generations, founding, managing and working for Yonsei University. Now, the Underwoods are to say good-bye to Korea.
Horace H. Underwood, the executive director of the Korean American Educational Commission and the fourth-generation Underwood, will return to the United States with his wife this fall. The couple said that the Underwoods have done all that they can for Korea.
The family donated the university to the university foundation, and the couple have even given their private house to the foundation. Mr. Underwood initially declined the request by the university foundation to serve on the foundation’s board of directors, but was obliged to accept after it insisted that one of the descendants of the founder must be included.
Watching the family practicing the spirit of returning all personal possessions to society, we feel immense respect for them.
During the dark days of Korea, the Underwoods brought light to the Korean people. A young missionary, Horace Grant Underwood, came to an impoverished Korea, giving up his dream of going to India. Witnessing the fall of the Joseon Dynasty under the pressure of neighboring big powers, he helped Koreans keep their national spirit by establishing schools, Christian societies and the YMCA.
During the Japanese occupation, Yonsei University served as the birthplace of Korean studies and became a spiritual center of the people.
The Underwoods experienced the same suffering as their neighbors did. Horace H. Underwood, a son of Horace G. Underwood, lost his beloved wife in 1949 by a terrorist act by the Communists.
Because of their 119-year-long love and friendship, we have become a proud member of the world community. We can now return their love to others. As the Underwoods did for us, we can care for people in impoverished and troubled countries.
We have to make sure our descendants remember them and appreciate what they did for us. We solemnly express our gratitude to the Underwoods, who have cultivated endless love in our hearts.
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