For the first time in Illinois State University history, a part of one of the colleges and schools has changed its name. The College of Fine Arts and the School of Art have been named in the honor of alumna and current artist Wonsook Kim.
Kim graduated from ISU in 1975 after traveling to Illinois from Korea to pursue her dreams in the arts.
To celebrate the announcement, President Larry H. Dietz and other administration held a special announcement at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon in the Center for the Performing Arts.
got to be a part of an incredible and historic day at @IllinoisStateU with one of our buildings now being known as the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and the Wonsook Kim School of Art! @The_Vidette pic.twitter.com/u4Umu1JiVF— kel (@kellie_foy) September 12, 2019
This change in name is in recognition of the kindness and gifts that she and her husband, Thomas Clement, have given to the university throughout time.
“[The change in name] is significant because Wonsook Kim has such a wonderful name in the world. She’s an accomplished alumni from Illinois State University and the College of Fine Arts and has produced wonderful artwork that has been exhibited throughout the world,” Dean of the College of Fine Arts Jean Miller said.
Illinois State alumna Wonsook Kim and her husband, Thomas Clement, have made a $12 million gift to Illinois State, the largest outright gift commitment in the University's history. https://t.co/JPi5kCxYt2— Illinois State (@IllinoisStateU) September 12, 2019
Kim and Clement have donated $12 million to the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art for initiatives that will help the future of the college, school, and students involved in the program.
“The gift was significant enough for us to name the College and School of Art after her. We are so honored by her expertise [and] we’re honored by their generosity. We are proud to have their name on our college and on our school,” Dietz said.
These include, but are not limited to, updates to technology and supplies, student scholarships, theatre and dance programs and international engagement and collaboration.
The couple is also creating three named professorships in honor of the three staff members who impacted Kim’s artistic journey: Harold Boyd, Harold Gregor and Ken Holder.