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Letter Exchanges with Ms. Linda Miller of Roanoke
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아버님이 졸업하신 Roanoke College의 Archivist인 Ms. Linda Miller와 교환한 편지입니다.
학교측에서도 1929년 졸업한 한국 유학생의 일생이 어떻게 전개되었는지 궁금해 하기에 조금 긴 사연이 오가게 되었습니다.
아버님의 이력을 요약한 것이 되므로 여기 올려 기록으로 삼고자 합니다.
결국 이 편지의 인연으로 Roanoke College를 Salem Virginia로 찾아가게 되는데 그 기록은 사진 이야기로 여기 링크되어 있습니다.

Letter from Linda Miller of Roanoke to me dated April 4, '98

Dear Mr. Hugh:

Kim Blair, our Alumni Director, forwarded your e-mail to the Archives. We have done some research on your father's time here at Roanoke College and have a small packet of information for you. If you would e-mail me your address, I would be delighted to send you the information. I would be most grateful if you would send me in return a few details about your father's life after he left Roanoke College, for example, where he lived, his occupation, wife and children. Your inquiry is a most timely one. The College is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Korean student to graduate from any US college or university. The student was Surh Beung Kiu. His grandson, Frank Lee, is coming back as our commencement speaker this May. Roanoke College is very excited about this, and is honored to have had so many Korean students over the years. We are happy to include your father as one of our alumni.
Sincerely,
Linda Angle Miller,
Archivist


Letter from me to Linda dated April 5, '98

Dear Ms. Miller,
Mr.Benjamin Yun Hugh's Life

After his graduation from the Roanoke, Mr. Hugh continued his study in U.S. He moved to Philladelpia and graduated from the Graduate School of U-Penn in 1932 with M.A. degree in Economics.
The same year he returned from U.S. to Korea which was under Japanese sovereign since 1910, to participate in the non-violence independence movement of Korean intellectuals within the country.
He taught the young Korean students the economy, the international world and patriotism as well at the Hyupsung High School for six years until 1937 when he was charged by his active involvement in the independence movement (although it was peaceful) and put into jail by the Japanese regime for 1-1/2 yrs during 1937-39.
He got a chronic disease while in jail, which he had to fight against for the rest of his life. After freed, he established and managed a junior college in commerce named Central Commerce Institute in Seoul, again for six years during 1941-47.
During the period he married to a lady named Gui-Ae Kim in 1934(to view the wedding picture, please click here.) and had one daughter and three sons.
Korea became finally independent in 1945, however, he did not enjoy the reward to his life time endeavour long enough.
Defeated by the ill he got from the jail, he passed away in 1949, leaving four young kids( the youngest son who is writing this memo was only 6) in the hands of 44 yrs old widow in the turmoil of political unrest prevailed in the country which soon led to the disastrous Korean war one year later.
At any rate, his family survived the war, and his outsprings were all married and established their own families.
The mother passed away in 1994 at her age of 88, and the four couples of the sons and daughter and 10 grandchilren were observing the grand funeral. The first son( who passed away one year later) became movie writer, 2nd son-a professor of the Korean Maritime University, 3rd son-an executive of a famous Korean manufacturung company. The daughter married and became a member of a Park family.

Dear Ms.Miller,
How do you like the story? If you need more details of Ben's life please let me know. Thank you again for providing this opportunity to remember my father as a proud Rawenoch.

His son, Dahl


Letter from Linda to me dated April 24, '98

Dear Mr. Hugh,

Please forgive the long delay in responding to the brief biography of your father.
I was away for a few days, and then got quite involved with the College's Alumni Weekend.
It is always rather hectic in the Archives during that week.
The biography was quite interesting.
Your father gave much of himself for the betterment of his country, and suffered greatly for his beliefs. You have every right to be proud of such a man.
Your mother, too, sounds like a remarkable woman.
Thank you so much for sharing that information.
I confess I am curious about his name, since "Benjamin" and "Hugh" sound either American or British. Was there some "Anglo-American" influence there--like a missionary?
Also, do you know how your father happened to come to the United States, and to choose Roanoke College? (If these questions are too impertinent, I apologize.)

You asked about Commencement, and again, I apologize for taking so long to reply. Some of that was also uncertainty on my part as to just what is happening here. The main activities, of course, revolve around our graduating seniors. There is a baccalaureate (religious) service in the morning at 10:00, followed by lunch. Commencement begins at 1:30pm and usually lasts 2 - 2 1/2 hrs. As I mentioned, our speaker, Francis "Frankie" Lee, is the grandson of our first Korean graduate, Surh, Kiu-Beung (I'm not sure if I have the order correct.), who graduated in 1898. A few members of the Surh family will also be present.
The city of Roanoke and Wonju, Korea, are sister cities, so a number of the people here in the valley who are involved in that will also be attending commencement. The College is planting a modest garden in front of the Library with plants native to Korea, as a tribute to our ties with Korea.
At this late date, I am reluctant to encourage you to make a special trip to the US just for this one day. (Unfortunately, the College would not be able to pay for your trip.) As I said, the main thrust of the day will be for the graduates.
However, should you decide to come, you would be included in the special seating for our Korean visitors at commencement, and invited to the lunch for the platform party and after commencement to a reception at the lake home of Dr. Roth, one of the men active in the Sister City group.
Again, I apologize for the lateness of my reply.
If you are unable to attend commencement, it would still be wonderful if you could come to visit Salem and Roanoke College sometime when you are in the United States. It is a four hour drive from Washington, D.C., and only an hour flight.
There are a number of folks here who would be delighted to show you around the area, and of course, the College.

I will finally(!) mail you the information we have found..
Sincerely,

Linda Miller


Letter from me to Linda same date

Dear Ms. Miller

Thank you for your letter.
Some more stories I heard from my mother and collected from the diary of my father.
He was born in 1896 and lost his parents very early. His grandfather raised him and he worked for the missionaries then stayed in Anju, north Korea to earn his tuition for high school education. You are right there, he had the relationship with the Christian missionaries.
Helped by the missionary , I guess, he entered the Yonhee University in 1918, but had to flee to Shanghai, China in 1919 where he continued his education in Shanghai Sanyu College which was run by the 7th-Day Adventist Church.
In 1922 he graduated from the college, and went to U.S. for further study. According to his early diary(which is remained only for 1925), he came in L.A. area and worked very hard here and there to earn his tuition for further study in U.S.
I do not know what brought him to Roanoke as its name was not mentioned in his diary available.
Regarding the question you have on the name( the way he spelled it), we didn't have the opportunity to clarify it before he passed away.
He used the spelling of "Huh" when he firstly arrived in U.S. according to his diary, which is more common way of spelling the same family name in Korea.
"Benjamin", according to my mother's recollection we heard, apparently came from "Benjamin Franklin" whom he respected more than any other American.
I have a short essay regarding this spelling of our family name in my family page , and I also linked the letters I sent to you about his life in the same page.

Regarding the opportunity to visit Roanoke, I would follow your suggestion. The earliest next occasion I visit U.S. I would make a detour to Salem, Virginia to visit Roanoke. When time comes, I would like to ask your favor to share your time to introduce Roanoke to me. Would it be O.K?
Best Regards,

Dahl Hugh


Letter from Linda to me same date

Dear Mr. Hugh,

Thank you so much for your latest e-mail. Your father's life sounds fascinating!
I do hope you can make a visit to Salem one day. I would be delighted to show you around.
I'm sure I will have to share that time with Dr. Kenneth Garren, the Dean of the College, and Mr. Michael Maxey, the Director of Admissions, both of whom have visited your country.
My best to you and to your family.
Sincerely,

Linda Angle Miller, Archivist

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