Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS, President Park Chul) held the Obama Hall Naming Ceremony at 11am on Monday, January 14, 2013 at Minerva Complex in Seoul Campus. At the ceremony, the Minerva Auditorium was renamed Obama Hall to commemorate the venue whereU.S. President Barack Obama addressed students and guests and became an honorary alumnus of HUFS on March 26, 2012.
Held at the International Conference Hall with Director of Public Relations Seo Jung-min serving as the master of ceremonies, the naming ceremony began with a welcoming address from HUFS President Park Chul, followed by congratulatory messages from Brent Byers, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Kwon Soon-han, President of HUFS Alumni Association, and lawmaker Kim Tae-won. Participants then proceeded to the Minerva Auditorium for the unveiling of the Obama Hall copper plate.
In his welcoming address, President Park said that “the auditorium is being re-named Obama Hall to commemorate the venue of President Obama’s special address and congratulate the president on his re-election to a second term.” Speaking on behalf Ambassador Sung Kim, Minister-Counselor Byers expressed his appreciation for the dedication of the hall to President Obama by HUFS, which fosters outstanding global leaders through its advanced foreign language program. “The U.S. Embassy in Seoul will seek various ways to further cooperate with HUFS,” he said.
After the ceremony, participants visited a reception room in which the stage where President Obama gave his address was on display. They also followed the Obama Trail, the path taken by the President through the HUFS campus.
The Obama Hall Naming Ceremony was attended by about 200 guests, including U.S. Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Brent Byers, Uzbek Ambassador Vitali Fen, First Secretary & Consul of Guatemala Manolo Montúfar, First Secretary of Spain Jorge Mijangos and representatives of other foreign diplomatic missions in Korea, Chairman of the Board of Directors Lee Nam-ju, board director Yang In-mo, board director Lee Jae-won, HUFS President Park Chul and the corps of the university deans, President of HUFS Alumni Association Kwon Soon-han, lawmaker Kim Tae-won of the Saenuri Party, and Daily UNN President Lee In-won.