When Dong-Soo Hur MS’68, PhD’71 returned to campus to accept his Distinguished Alumni Award in July, he closed the loop on a much-anticipated visit. Hur was named a Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 2011, but was unable to travel from his home in Korea to accept the honor at that time.
As the chair of the board of GS Caltex, the oldest private oil company in South Korea, Hur is known as “Mr. Oil.” His company is a leading force in the Korean energy industry, with a 30 percent share of that nation’s petroleum market and the fourth largest single-site refinery in the world. Hur has been a tireless advocate for diversification and sustainability, leading GS Caltex into the gas, fuel cell, and renewable energy industries.
While on campus, he toured the Wisconsin Energy Institute and the College of Engineering and met with key chemical engineering faculty. Then it was on to view the new Goodspeed Family Pier and the site of the future Alumni Park during a pontoon boat tour on Lake Mendota. Hur, who is a member of the UW Foundation’s prestigious Van Hise Society, also accepted an invitation to become a member of the foundation’s board of directors.
Hur’s visit also provided an occasion for nearly a dozen other Korean alumni and friends to get reconnected. Many members of the delegation were current and former leaders from the WAA: Korea Chapter. They enjoyed an outing to University Ridge Golf Course, as well as a dinner at the home of Professor Hyuk Yu, who is originally from South Korea. The group discussed several potential programs to further strengthen the ties between the university and their home country.
“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to thank and honor such a distinguished alumnus as Dr. Hur for his amazing leadership in South Korea and his service to the university,” said WAA president and CEO Paula Bonner MS’78. “He and the other Korean alumni are extraordinary examples of the commitment and service to this institution that exist no matter where alumni are in the world.”