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SK holdings Chairman Chey Tae-won Received ‘James A. Van Fleet Award’


- Awarded on July 18, 2017… Following the late Chey Jong-hyun, it is the first time in Korea for ‘father and son’ to be receiving the award 
- In recognition of fostering talented people through scholarship programs of the Korea Foundation and contributing to academic exchanges between Korea and the US
- Chairman Chey “Will continue developing previous activities promoted by the foundation and SK Group without  forgetting my initial intention”  

SK Group’s Chairman Chey Tae-won received the James A. Van Fleet Award in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of Korea-US relations and economic cooperation between the two countries.   

The Korea Society, a nonprofit organization of the United States, granted the ‘Van Fleet Award’ to Chairman Chey Tae-won during the 60th celebration held at Lotte Hotel located in Sogong-Dong, Seoul, on July 18, 2017.

At the acceptance speech, Chairman Chey said, “I would like to attribute this glory to my deceased father (the former chairman Chey Jong-hyun). I feel overwhelmed by receiving this award because my work seems so trivial compare with my father’s great achievement.” 

After introducing an old saying ‘When you drink water, think of the effort of the people who dug up the well’, Chairman Chey continued, “While receiving this award, I am reflecting back on my father who had established the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies 43 years ago and had built the foundation of SK Group.” 

After that, he introduced the late Chey Jong-hyun’s ample-scale of scholarship programs, “My father spared no pains to support students who were studying in foreign countries with the belief that the only way for Korea to be the number one country is through cultivating talented people because Korea lacked resources. At that time, people were not familiar with studying in overseas countries.”

After establishing the foundation in 1974, the former Chairman Chey Jong-hyun provided USD 35,000.00 for five years to each student. At that time, GDP of Korea was USD 560.00 and the amount given was the price of 2 high-end apartments in Seoul.

Chairman Chey emphasized, “For the past 40 years, more than 500 people received PhDs. If they were to have returned to Korea and got a job as a professor to teach average of 100 students per year for 15 years, then the total number of students that they may have taught reaches to 750,000.”

Chairman Chey declared that he will remember his initial intentions and would continue developing previous activities of the foundation and SK Group such as fostering talented people, academic exchanges, investment and cooperation between the two countries.

Thomas C. Hubbard, Chairman of the Korea Society Board of Director, explained, “As a chairman of the Korean Foundation for Advanced Studies, Chairman Chey actively promoted scholarship programs for foreign studies. We selected him as an awardee of the 2017 Van Fleet Awards in recognition of these activities, which made a great contribution to the promotion of Korea-US relations as well as fostering talented people for the country.”

Two hundred attendees to the award ceremony were from at home and abroad, including Kang Kyung-Wha, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Thomas Hubbard, Chairman of the Korea Society, Marc Knapper, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, John Negroponte, former Deputy Secretary of State, and Na Kyung-Won, Vice Chairman of Korean National Assembly’s Committee on Korea-US Diplomatic Relations.    

The James A. Van Fleet Awards was established by The Korea Society in commemoration of the late James Van Fleet, who was the commanding general of the eighth U.S. Army when the Korean War broke out. 

In fact, the award ceremony has always been held at the headquarters of the Korea Society in New York. However, it was held in Seoul,  Korea this year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korea Society. 

The U.S. awardee George W. Bush, a former President of America, will receive the award during the annual dinner, which will be held in New York in September 2017.  

The former Chairman Chey Jong-hyun received this award in 1998 after his death in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of Korea-US relations and the improvement of understanding on Korean culture by providing American teens with Korean cultural experience programs.

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