PC to Launch Center for South Korean and East Asian Studies on May 18

May 9, 2023

Presbyterian College’s new Center for South Korean and East Asian Studies officially opens this spring.

The new center’s public launch will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 18. A delegation from Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea, will join college officials and PC Board of Trustees members at a formal ceremony at Carol International House and Brown Commons.

The college first announced the Center for South Korean and East Asian Studies last fall at the launch of PC’s new strategic plan. The distinctive new program invites language and cultural exchanges and avenues for PC students to study abroad, and opportunities for PC to recruit students from the region to study in the U.S.

Professor of history Dr. Roy Campbell, the center’s director, said PC has already discovered willing partners overseas. Last fall, Campbell, PC president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg, and chaplain and dean of spiritual life, the Rev. Dr. Buz Wilcoxon, traveled to South Korea to meet with representatives in higher education, the South Korean government, and the Presbyterian Church to develop future partnerships.

Those efforts are paying off. Campbell will escort seven PC students to Konkuk University in Seoul for a two-week language and culture program. The center is also sponsoring visits for history professor Dr. Mike Nelson and psychology professor Dr. Stephanie Freis to South Korea.

PC is opening its doors this summer, as well. At least a dozen students from Hannam will travel to Clinton in July for an intensive English language course. Using technology as an innovative teaching tool, PC and its overseas partners also are developing an online language exchange program.

PC will also explore partnerships with South Korean companies operating in the region and Korean-American communities in places like Columbia and Atlanta, Ga. A considerable population of Presbyterians in South Korea also offers exciting possibilities for collaboration.

Campbell has high expectations for various new and innovative programs to emerge from the center.

“With a multi-dimensional approach focused on student recruitment from South Korea and East Asia, active student and faculty exchange and collaboration, robust church and university partnerships, as well as outreach to South Korean companies in our region, this new strategic initiative has the potential to have an immediate and transformative effect on PC,” Campbell said.