Sogang University, located in the South Korean capital Seoul, was founded by the Wisconsin province of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, in 1960. This followed assurances by Pope Pius XII, in the 1940s, that a Catholic higher education institution would be established in Korea.
The name Sogang means “west of Han River”, and when it first opened - as Sogang College - it had six departments: economics, English, history, mathematics, philosophy and physics.
It became Sogang University in December 1969 and grew steadily through the 1970s. The Campus Festival, featuring a number of academic symposiums, began when the university was granted the university title and still continues to this day.
In 1990, at the university’s 30th anniversary commemoration, a statue that symbolises a soaring albatross - the institution’s mascot - was unveiled.
Just under 20 years later, in 2009, Sogang was accredited to open a business school by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - a US accreditor. It now has one of the most respected business schools in Korea, which is based near Seoul’s financial district.
Behind the university’s main campus is Gonzaga Hall, an accommodation block that that accommodates up to 900 students from all over the world.
The university has produced a string of notable graduates across the political, business and entertainment sectors.
Among them are the 11th president of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye; the country’s former minister of national defence, Kim Tae-young; president of HSBC Korea, Jung Eun-young; president of the Hyundai Motor Company, Jung Jin-haeng; film director, Lee Kwang-hoon; and actress, Nam Ji-hyun.