Closing Remarks by Dr. Sang Nam Lee (President 1992-1993)
"Strong leadership with palpable vitality and enthusiasm in keeping with the
The most notable change I noticed, after having been away in Korea for nearly two years, was the
composition of our Board of Directors. The meeting was not only well attended but, more importantly,
showed a good mix of silver-haired first generation and young, ambitious 2nd generation which is
usually a good sign of health for any organization. Dr. Yoon Soo Park, former president in his 80s,
surprised many of us by giving a passionate PowerPoint presentation on the financial status and brief
history of the KASF. It is encouraging to know that the KASF now possesses 3.3 million dollars in
endowment and 6 regional Chapters, all working together for a single goal of helping Korean-American
students in need of financial assistance. Former ambassador Kyu Sup Chung at the age of 85 and Mr.
Young Hwan Park, a resident historian of KASF, in his 70s(?), both of whom were former presidents,
did not seem to feel their age, showing their continuous support for the KASF. The presence of
Ambassador Duk-Soo Han as a guest and his encouraging remarks was a good moral boost for the members.
I believe that all of these reflect the fact that our 42-year long tradition has been kept in good
balance of respecting the wisdom of older generations and the energy of younger generations.
Furthermore, the transparent operation of the KASF and the fervent desire of the Korean people
for higher education, which even president Obama admires, has kept the KASF continually growing
today as a respected and reputable non-profit organization.
The other change that I noted was the fact that the meeting is now being conducted in English, an
inevitable and desirable change as the younger generation assumes more responsibilities. After all,
our purpose is to serve Korean-American students with English as their primary language.
Besides many ambitious projects, our new president, Leonard Kim, presented an innovative idea of
using modern media for communications, for example, establishing an e-Newsletter to build better
relations with our donors and BoD community. I can easily envision many innovative changes taking
place at the KASF during his term just as he has happened under him at his place of work at the
National Academy of Sciences where he serves as their Chief Information Officer. The vision of a
"virtual office" that Leonard has articulated will obviate the need of expensive physical space,
and allow applicants as well as our board member volunteers to work more efficiently and effectively.
These are major changes that will serve the KASF well for many years to come.
Leonard has been with the KASF since 1992, taking on various roles. He is best qualified for the
job with his strong leadership experience. Also, with his wife (who is an accomplished violinist
and also known as a gourmet cook who always smiles and treats us with delicious food) at his side,
they make a great team.
I am proud to say that I personally recruited Leonard into the KASF in 1992 when I was president,
and looking back now, I found the talent that was destined to become a great leader for the KASF
and that is my biggest contribution to the KASF to date. I am confident that our organization has
a bright future and has a great opportunity to leap forward as a greater organization under his
leadership. To this end, he will need all of our continued support.