Thick glasses, braces, clean pony tail, slim muscles. This is the common image Koreans conjure up of an SNU student. However, celebrities who went to SNU prove this stereotype false. Just like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, a pretty face can also have the brains.
KIM Tae Hee (SNU B.A. in Clothing and Textiles, ‘99~’04)
The most famous actress who went to SNU. She was seen around campus until 2005. Rumor has it she came to the lectures with her bodyguard, who stopped students from taking pictures with their cell phones in class. A professor uninterested in celebrities shared his experience of being surprised by the large crowd in front of the classroom used for his course, which Kim Tae Hee happened to take; another female professor also recounted how she allowed an excused absence in exchange for a signature to give to her son who’s a fan. She is known for having been the president of the SNU Women’s Ski Club and having dated a fellow SNU student as a campus couple in 2003 (he is now a famous orthodontist).
KIM Jeong Hoon (SNU School of Dentistry drop out, ‘98~’03)
The classic umchinah*. On the 1998 suneung (CSAT: college scholastic ability test), he is known to have ranked 62nd nationwide. By chance Kim Jeong Hoon was picked out at a bar near SNU by an artist trainer, making a successful debut in a duo vocal group named the United N-Generation (UN), which lasted until 2005. Kim Jeong Hoon recounts that he decided to drop out when an SNU professor castigated him saying, “What are you going to do if you kill your patient?” upon asking whether he could substitute the test for a lab report. His parents’ opposition was so great his father almost disowned him, but they are now his biggest supporters. He later made an appearance on the screen in the popular Korean drama Goong and several others. (*umchinah: abbreviation for mom’s (um) friend’s (chin) son (ah). Refers to someone everybody is jealous of.)
LEE Sang Yoon (SNU B.A. in Physics – still enrolled, ‘00~present)
Lee Sang Yoon was picked out of a crowd on the streets of Yeoido by his former agency director at the age of 24. Making a debut in 2005 in a Hite Beer commercial, he went on to star on the screen and in various TV series. Lee Sang Yoon is also famous for dating another popular Korean actress, NAM Sang Mi, since last year. He dropped out of SNU but has recently come back on campus since the second semester of 2011!
LEE Honey (SNU M.A. in Korean Music, ‘02~’10)
The 50th Miss Korea (first place winner) in 2006, Miss Grand Slam 2007, and third runner-up in the 56th Annual Miss Universe pageant in 2007. The sexy and glamorous Lee Honey pursued both her B.A. and M.A. in Korean Music at SNU, graduating in 2010. Lee Honey’s talent in Korean traditional music is a family heirloom from her mother, who is a player of the gayageum (Korean traditional 12-stringed instrument) that has been designated as the 23rd intangible cultural asset in Korea. She is also known for having been actively involved in the SNU Women’s Ski Club with Kim Tae Hee. Currently, Honey is starring in various movies and TV series—her most recent one, Deranged (Korean title: Yeongasi), a horror film, premiered just earlier this month!
LEE Juck (SNU B.A. in Sociology, ‘92~’04)
Coming from an academic family with a mother who is a renowned Korean feminist and whose two brothers both graduated from SNU, Lee Juck is a sensitive singer. He made his debut in a duo group called Panic with the rapper KIM Jin Pyo, which became known for its distinctive music. He was also involved in the group Carnival with Kim Dong Ryul, and the band Gigs. He garnered fame with his best hit song “It’s Fortunate (Dahaengida)”, which has become a favorite at weddings. He entered SNU in 1992 and graduated in August 2004. He was often seen in the Social-Ak (惡) baan playing his guitar.
JO Yun Suk a.k.a. Lucid Fall (SNU B.A. in Chemical Engineering, ‘93~’99)
A serenading scientist. This artistic sunbae even went on to receive his M.A. from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm and PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He owns a United States patent on the Mono-nitrogen oxides transfer micelle; he was also awarded Best Thesis in the High Molecular Science Division by the Swiss Society of Chemistry, and has been published in the world renowned journal Nature Chemistry. On top of this career, his sweet ballads are highly popular (on rainy days especially). Interested in music since an early age, he won the bronze medal for the 5th Yu Jeha Music Competition in his freshman year at SNU, and made a debut in 1998 in a modern rock band named Misuni. He has been continuing his musical career since 2001 as a soloist under the name of Lucid Fall. His latest album released in 2009 garnered much popularity.
Written By LEE Bo Young, SNU English Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org?
Reviewed by Eli Park Sorensen, SNU Professor of Liberal Studies, email@example.com
Proofread by Brett Johnson, SNU English Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org