More than 200 students, parents, faculty and staff attended the fifth annual commencement ceremony of the University of Utah Asia Campus in Songdo, South Korea, on May 25. Additional events honoring the graduating class of 2023 included a professional baseball game and an alumni event.
The commencement ceremony began with a virtual address from President Taylor Randall, congratulating the graduates on their achievements.
“Your graduation is an important accomplishment and I sincerely congratulate you on joining the 300,000 alumni of the University of Utah,” Randall said.
“John Warnock, founder of Adobe, and Lee Isaac Chung, director of “Minari,” followed their passions through education and changed the world as a result,” Montoya said.
Student speakers, Yeonjoon Moon, B.S. in Urban Ecology, and Gatmaitan Jose Manolo, B.S. in Psychology, gave an impactful joint speech about their different experiences while being at the U Asia Campus.
“My time at this university taught me that to make something great, you must be ready to fail better,” Manolo said. “Your patience and perseverance will define yourself through those failures, and they’ll transform into successes. You are different because you make a difference. Use what you have and turn it into your inspiration.”
The commencement ceremony also congratulated the students and faculty with the Spring 2023 Student Leader Awards and inaugurated the new Student Council President Yeji Lee and Vice President Hayeon Choi.
The commencement ceremony ended with a complimentary dinner with a raffle for the attendees to allow graduates, friends and family to celebrate the occasion together.
Additional dignitaries in attendance included Byung-Yoon Yoo, president of Incheon Global Campus; Arthur Lee, president of the State University of New York Korea; Tae-Joon Han, president of Ghent University Global Campus; Gregory Cash Hill, chief administrative officer of the U Asia Campus; and Randy McCrillis, dean of students.
Campus hosted baseball day with SSG Landers
The U Asia Campus delivered 1,000 towels, 400 jerseys, 200 bracelets and other souvenirs to the people of Incheon. It held a gift exchange ceremony between Montoya and Kyungsam Min, the CEO of the SSG Landers.
Various events were organized, including a balloon-popping game between the campus club baseball team—the Devils—and spectators.
“It was my first time at a Korean baseball game,” Montoya said. “I enjoyed the lively atmosphere of the cheering and singing so much that I brought home a custom-embroidered SSG Landers uniform with me.”
Before the game, Gregory Cash Hill, chief administrative officer at U Asia Campus, threw the ceremonial first pitch.
“We appreciated having our faculty, staff and students spend a wonderful evening enjoying a great baseball game with Incheon citizens,” Hill said. “The U Asia Campus is grateful for our partnership with the SSG Landers.”
Watch highlights from the event.
“We want to see the same outcomes from the U Asia Campus in a different context that fits the demographic and society in South Korea,” Montoya said. “We will continue to actively support the University of Utah to become a socially impactful institution in both Korea and the United States.”
Prior to the alumni event, Montoya met with Korean CEOs, including Hee-kyung Min, vice president of CJ Social Contribution; Ki-Chul Cha, CEO of Inbody; Hwan-Joo Yeo, vice president of Our Home; and Kang-In Lee, president of Youngpung.
To learn more about the University of Utah Asia Campus, click here.