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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (July 8, 2009) – UCM alumnus Kea Sung Chung, chairman and CEO of KBFD-TV, “the Voice of Korea,” recently made a $30,000 gift to the UCM Foundation to provide scholarship help for students struggling to finance their college education in today’s tough economic times.
“I wanted my gift to help the university in the greatest way possible,” said Chung. Born in Korea, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from UCM in 1957.
Kea Sung Chung
Helping Undergraduate Students
His gift will be added to the foundation’s general scholarship endowment, which helps undergraduate and graduate students who attend UCM either full or part time, are in good academic standing and demonstrate financial need.
“This endowment was established in 1979 with the goal to build a permanent fund of scholarship dollars to help students in difficult circumstances,” said Joe Kremer, university director, chief development officer and executive director of the UCM Foundation. “We are especially grateful to Mr. Chung for trusting us to use his gift where our need is the greatest.”
Military Service Enhanced Leadership Skills
After earning a degree from UCM, Chung returned home to Korea to serve in the military. He became an important link between Korean and U.S. governments as an aide-de-camp to the U.S. general at the United Nation’s Command Headquarters. He developed skills that led to him becoming the liaison officer to the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense, a charter member of the Korean government’s new oil venture, and owner of an import and export company.
Pioneering Korean Language Programming in the U.S.
Chung’s family immigrated to Hawaii in the early 1970s. While there, he became worried that younger generations of Koreans could lose their cultural identity as they adapted to western culture. To address this concern, in 1976 he began airing Korean language programs by buying time from Hawaii’s KBS-TV,
Due to his efforts and expanding vision, one hour of broadcasting per week turned into a full-time operation when he founded KBFD-TV with his sons and daughter in 1986. His commitment to cultural understanding was carried a step further five years later when he launched The Asian Network, bringing Korean cultural shows across the continental United States via satellite television.
The "First Family of Korean TV"
The Chung family is affectionately known as the “First Family of Korean TV.” Their efforts have garnered recognition among Hawaii’s multi-ethnic community and in mainland USA for helping to change negative stereotypes and to broaden an understanding of Korean culture. The city and county of Honolulu, HI, proclaimed May 29 as Kea Sung Chung Day to recognize his accomplishments in television and contributions to the Korean community in Hawaii and the mainland.
Chung and his wife, Ok Soon, are the parents of three children. Their son, Jaeh, attended UCM from the fall of 1982 to spring 1984 before transferring to the University of Hawaii. He manages the satellite operations of the family business, The Asia Network. Their son, Jeff, and daughter, Yuh-Hee, manage the broadcasting operation of KBFD-TV.
For More Information
For more information about the UCM Foundation and the many opportunities to support UCM’s academic programs, call 660-543-8000.