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2022-12-04 Harvard Club of Korea annual alumni dinner

 


On December 1, 2019, I joined the Harvard Club of Korea's annual alumni dinner. Of course, no one in the room knew that the event would be canceled for the next two years because of COVID.

Last night we enjoyed gathering again, with about 90 Harvard alumni and their guests meeting, talking, and networking.

My special guest in 2019 was North Korean refugee Songmi Han. When she joined then she had not heard of Harvard University. I didn't realize just how special that night was for Songmi until we worked together on what became Greenlight to FreedomThis time, she knew what it was and was looking forward to it.


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Mr. Dr. Prof and now Foreign Minister Jin Park was there as a special guest. He is a former president of the Harvard Club and is a special VIP every year. He gave a short speech and also the toast for the event. He gave the most incredible testimonial about me last year. He also remembered Songmi from meeting her earlier this year when she gave him a signed copy of her book.

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I was delighted that former Miss Korea Geum Na-Na remembered me. It has been a few years since I last saw her. I brought Songmi over to her so they could also meet!

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Superman Kent Kim! He has published 17 books in addition to being engaged in a number of global activities. If I ever become truly international it will be because Kent finds a way to fit me into one of his projects.
We met several years ago and he invited me on his TV podcast six years ago.

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The ambassador to Israel was also a special guest last night. He, Songmi, and I were speakers at a Hana Foundation conference in late October.
Two weeks ago, Eunkoo and I bumped into the Ambassador at the KAA Friendship Night. I didn't know who he was six weeks ago, and I have now seen him at three different incredible events.

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There were so many incredible people there last night, I wish there had been more time to talk with more people. Of course, the annual dinner is the key event of the year, but it was great in past years when we also had happy hours.

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A North Korean musician and his South Korean colleague performed for the audience. It was great meeting them. The North Korean musician was recommended to us a while ago and last night we got to meet in person.

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The fun time was the quiz about Harvard's history. Not only did I win for myself, but I also helped Songmi win and was also whispering some of the answers. Finally, the MC detected that something was going on at our table because half of us won prizes! She finally started avoiding our table! 

But it didn't matter in my case, because after helping Songmi win, she claimed one of my prizes and I surrendered the other one this morning to FSI co-founder Eunkoo Lee.

I am in charge of FSI but I clearly am not in control.

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I showed up early so I ended up helping the outgoing president of the Harvard Club with setting up.


Claire recently graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She gave me a great compliment when she said that my posts on the Harvard Alumni Facebook page helped her relax because they gave her an idea of what to expect.


I then felt quite welcome with joining the youngsters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education when they took their group photo.
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Mr. Chung is smiling as he grumbles about taking a photo with me at every Harvard alumni dinner.







So much was going on... did I mention that the CFO of Naver participated in a fireside chat?



It started as a photo of me, Songmi and Jamie... then quickly grew!


Another photo that started with just a few of us, then others jumping in!




I caught them being natural!


She really wanted a photo with Songmi!
 

They allowed me to join the next photo.





There were other name tags but of course I should protect the privacy of others.




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