Contributions to national economic growth through development in the public works and construction industries... Received ‘honorary doctorate in engineering’
Rose the corporate ladder by successfully leading overseas public works and construction projects
Founded Samwoo Public Works in 1991... Continued success as entrepreneur
Founded Choi Hyeok-young Scholarship Foundation to ‘practice sharing’... Provided financial support and served as mentor
[September 15, 2021]
YU (President CHOI Oe-chool) bestowed an honorary doctorate’s degree to Choi Hyeok-young Scholarship Foundation Chairman Choi Hyeok-young (78, right on photo) at the 3rd floor Conventional Hall of the YU Chunma Art Center at 2 p.m. on the 15th. This was in response to his contributions for the growth of the Korean public works and construction industries and for the development of the national economy.
Mr. Choi, from the class of ‘63 in civil engineering at YU (formerly Chunggu College), began his professional career at Shinjin Motor Group through open recruitment immediately after graduating university in 1970, and started working at Shinwon Development. He was a successful salary man in the public works and general construction industry until retiring from Samsung Construction in 1987.
While working at Shinwon Development, he was dispatched to the ‘Khorramshahr Port Construction in Iran’, which was the third overseas construction project of Korea and successfully led the project, receiving a medal from the CEO and showing his excellence in the industry early on.
After changing jobs to Samsung Construction in 1979, his achievements stood out even brighter. He exhibited especially outstanding capacities in winning overseas construction orders. At the time, Mr. Choi created a cost estimation manual needed for winning overseas construction bids to create the foundation for calculating overseas construction estimates. He came up with cost calculation methods and process management techniques even before the process management sector was systemized, thus contributing to corporate performance, and hinting to his unique managerial abilities.
Mr. Choi left Samsung in 1987 and started his own business, which was an opportunity to show his true capacities as an entrepreneur. He founded Samwoo Public Works in 1991 as a company specializing in construction, and won numerous constructions bids such as eight blocks for expressways, eight blocks for subways, four land development sites, and two plants, as he continued his success as an entrepreneur. Mr. Choi then established Samwoo Development and Mihye Industries to expand to real estate development businesses, real estate leasing and managing businesses, and even clothing businesses, as he still continues his endless challenges.
Mr. Choi has also been continuously stepping forward to practice sharing. Among them, the scholarship business is one of the projects that he is most attached to. It reflects his conviction that the most important thing for national development is ‘finding talents with proper character.’ Mr. Choi established the Choi Hyeok-young Scholarship Foundation in 2013 and has selected and supported about 300 students for scholarships at over 20 universities and high schools so far. In particular, the Choi Hyeok-young Scholarship does not stop at merely providing financial support. Mr. Choi also acts as a mentor for the scholarship students. He exchanges letters with students to share his wisdom with them and also gets together regularly for meals and meetings, thus offering both material and psychological.
Mr. Choi is an alumnus of YU and he has a special affection for his alma mater and juniors. He has donated over 700 million KRW to the university as development funds including scholarships for his juniors at YU. In particular, he contributed greatly to the establishment of the YU campus landmarks such as the ‘Chunma Tunnel Fountain’ installed at the front gate of YU and the large clock ‘Big Time’ installed on the upper part of the outer wall of the YU Central Library in 2018.
Mr. Choi said, “50 years ago, I was on the verge of being expelled because I was unable to pay tuition when I was in college. I was able to continue my studies thanks to the dean. I have never forgotten my appreciation for him. I promised that I would live my contributing to the school and society.” He added, “I am proud that during my corporate career and my life as an entrepreneur, I participated in many construction projects that will be remembered in the history of Korea’s development. But it is a great honor to receive this honorary doctorate’s degree despite being lacking in so many areas. On the other hand, I feel a huge sense of responsibility. I plan to continue focus more on the scholarship project during the life I have left. I will do what I can to foster talented human resources with expertise, creativity, and an innovative mindset based on strong character, and foster people who will contribute to our country and society.”