• Updated : 2022.5.27 금 10:21
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CNU's 70th Anniversary: It Is Time to Move Forward
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승인 2022.03.18  16:48:26
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▲ Drone view of the main road entrance to the Yongbong Tower from the Main Gate of CNU / Photo: Public Relations Office

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Chonnam National University (CNU). Over the past several years, the university has developed rapidly and has been recognized for its excellence in research and educational capabilities. CNU has taken 101-200th place in the "Impact Rankings 2021" by the Times Higher Education and also has been ranked 11th in Korea and 430th on the global top 2,000 list of the "World University Rankings 2021-2022" released by the Center for World University Rankings. To celebrate its 70th anniversary, CNU organized the 70th Anniversary Project Promotion Committee (APPC) and released its commemorative emblem and catchphrase in 2021. It has announced plans for yearlong celebrations and has been operating the website for the anniversary since late February. The Chonnam Tribune looked into part of the plans focusing on some projects and events for the anniversary that will be great opportunities to further develop our university and to look forward to for the next 100 years.

Ideas for the 70th Anniversary Celebrations

CNU hosted a competition for a catchphrase last year, and released the catchphrase “70 Years by Truth, 100 Years by Creation,” which means the growth of the university for 70 years and the direction for the future in 100 years. Meanwhile, the APPC has set the core idea of the 70th anniversary initiatives as going “green,” which is the official color of CNU to symbolize abundance, youth, and future. Their goals have been set and are related to four keywords; justice, region, truth, and light. To achieve these goals, anniversary projects and events have been categorized in the order mentioned as follows: Reflecting the university’s history in the context of the democratization movement and human rights, boosting communication with local residents, increasing academic, voluntary, and cultural achievements with long-term prospects, and promoting school pride by helping them share the university’s vision and missions. Based on the core ideas for the anniversary celebrations, a variety of plans are underway to mark the occasion. What they unveiled in February includes academic symposiums, university history compilations, concerts, exhibitions, competitions, and promotional events.
 

   
▲ CNU's 70th Anniversary Emblem

Reflecting on the Past for the Future

The 70th Anniversary Compilation Committee (ACC), as a division of the 70th Anniversary Project Promotion Committee (APPC), has been working on compilation projects to reflect the history of CNU and present the vision of the university through its 70-year history. The list of the projects includes “Looking back on the 70 Years of CNU through Alumni’s Eyes,” “100 Years of CNU: Asking and Answering about the Future,” “10 Years of CNU 2010-2020,” and “The History of the Democratization Movement at CNU.” The first book will contain the brief history of CNU with various photos and episodes of the alumni and show the aspects of future-oriented development from the past to the present in the history of CNU. The second book has been designed to publish the academic results of a special colloquium that presents a vision for the next 30 years after reflecting on the history of CNU. The third one has been planned to be used as the basic data for the 80-year history of the university. All three projects started in early June 2021 and will be completed at the end of April next year. The fourth book has been organized by the May 18 Institute, which plans to compile oral testimonies related to the democratization movement of CNU and its history. It is important to confirm the spirit and dedication of CNU to fulfill its social responsibility in modern Korean history.

ACC Chairman Kim Byoung-in (Professor, Dept. of History) said, “While planning the projects and determining their writing direction, we set the time period to compile the history of CNU for the last 100 years, although our university’s legal opening was 70 years ago. We have also considered the history before the integration with Yeosu University in 2003 as the foundation for development. In addition, we planned to include the efforts of local people who made the national university in our region despite the difficult national situation at the time. Consequently, the history of the compilation of CNU has been extended to 100 years and has been expanded to local residents.” The historical documents are expected to enable the university members and local residents to easily access the history of CNU. All compilation projects are meaningful in that they can comprehensively grasp the flow and characteristics of CNU’s history, and they will contain CNU’s vision for the next 100 years through the past 70-year history of the university.

Celebrating with Events

The APPC is working with members of colleges and affiliated facilities to host many commemorative events and make several kinds of souvenirs for promoting the 70th anniversary. The College of Arts has prepared to hold events such as a concert, an opera performance and an art exhibition. The College of Medicine will hold a music concert. The College of Engineering has a plan to host an engineering symposium, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will conduct a forum for future farming, and “Nongshimgo,” (large drum named Nongshim)” and “Taegoru (pavilion named Taego)” restoration projects are being sponsored by the Gwangju Natural Science High School Alumni Association and the proceeds will be donated to CNU.

Affiliated facilities including the Museum and the Library will have special exhibitions this year. One of the exhibitions is “70 Years of University Intellectual Voices through History” organized by the Press and Broadcasting Center, which will take place off campus from May 17 to 24. It will exhibit the newly discovered news manuscripts broadcasted by the Chonnam National University Broadcasting Station on campus from May 15 to 16, 1980, for the first time. A variety of materials will be displayed, including the first issues of The Chondae Shinmun and The Chonnam Tribune. This exhibition is meaningful in that the campus media have functioned as a public sphere for the university members for a long time, since 1954.

As an event for foreigners living in Gwangju, the Korean Language Speech Contest for foreigners is also prepared to mark its 70th anniversary. ‘Home Coming Day’ is an event organized by the Office of Student Affairs. There will be a homecoming event for the members of the General Student Council (GSC) over the past years to gather in one place to share the legacy and vision of the student autonomy at CNU. Lee Myeong-no (51st President of GSC) said, “I am looking forward to the Homecoming Day. I have high expectations for various possibilities where I can contribute to the development of student autonomy and each person’s future by creating a bond between senior and junior presidents of the council.”

These efforts are expected to make this year’s occasion a turning point for the 100 years of CNU. Dean of External Affairs Kook Min-suk (Professor, Dept. of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery) said, “Promotions should be made by implicitly informing rather than by the cramming rote method. So, I am planning promotional events, which are natural campaigns. The target is the nearby citizens of Buk-gu but also citizens in the rest of Gwangju and Jeollanam-do. In addition, since I think the first task of the university is education, I am looking forward to donation campaigns for education.”

New Footsteps for the Future

A series of projects and events will mark the 70th anniversary of the university this year. The university authorities, however, need to prepare mega events that help many people have shared values and feel as though they are part of the same community while celebrating CNU’s anniversary all year round, including events for local residents and international students studying at the university. Some events, such as music concerts, performance and exhibitions, need to be held so that local residents may also attend, as well as university members. The Korean Speaking Contest for Foreigners will be held in December, hosted by the Language Education Center, but other events for foreign students are needed to make them feel a sense of belonging and celebrate CNU’s anniversary as a member of the university.

As CNU approaches its 70th anniversary of the foundation on June 9, the APPC members have been trying to communicate with the university members to make “new” plans for the anniversary events that represent a new leap forward into the future with the local community beyond the campus. The new plans are scheduled to be finalized by the end of March, according to university authorities. Eventually, the anniversary celebrations are expected to successfully commemorate the 70 years of CNU by looking back at the past and moving forward with the future of the university. They will provide the time and opportunity to check the history and current status of our university, and also show CNU’s aspirations for a brighter future by sharing the century vison of CNU with the members of CNU and local residents. The Chonnam Tribune hopes that CNU will move forward toward the next 30 years by making this year’s anniversary activities milestones.

By Hong Ju-yeon, Student Editor
Lee Da-hyeon, Tribune Reporter

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