History of Yonhi·Severance(1885-1956)
The history of Yonsei University began on April 10th, 1885, as Korea’s first modern hospital "Gwanghyewon." Two weeks after opening, King Kojong gave Gwanghyewon a new name - "Chejungwon." Gwanghyewon was established by a medical missionary, Horace N. Allen. Prior to opening, missionary Horace G. Underwood visited Korea, assisting in medical treatment at Chejungwon while starting his work in education and missionary activities. These two missionaries' work that is based in Chejungwon has become the foundation of Yonsei.
Since then, works related to medicine were institutionalized to become what was initially the Severance Medical College and later Severance Hospital and Severance Medical School. Meanwhile, in education, what was initially known as Underwood School, Gyeongsin School, and later Yonhi College became Yonhi University. Yonhi and Severance supported the independence and modernization of Korea during Japanese colonization and at times of crises. As a university, it also bore the responsibility to democratize and modernize the country after the Korean War.
1885 April 10
Gwanghyewon, Korea’s first western hospital, is established as a royal medical institution
Left: GwangHyewon, the beginning of Yonsei Medical School and the first modern medical institution / Right: Dr. Horace Newton Allen, founder of Gwanghyewon
Chejungwon, the first formal medical school, with Dr. Oliver R. Avison as its first head
Above: Dr. Oliver R. Avison, the founder of Severance Hospital.
1904 September 3
Severance Hospital was reconstructed through a donation from Mr. L.H Severance.
Above: Severance Hospital
1915 March 5
Chosen Christian College was established in Y.M.C.A with
Won Do Woo as its first principal, and Avison as the vice-principal.
Above: Commemorative photograph on the founding day of
Chosen Christian College(1915)
- 1942 June Severance Medical School was forced to change its name to "Asahi Medical School."
1942 August 17
The Japanese designated Yonhi College of being an "enemy property" and appointed the first Japanese principal after overtaking it.
Above: Ordeal of the Underwood Statue
- The Japanese forcefullly extorted the Underwood Statue and erected a statute for "Asian Prosperity."
- 1944 April Yonhi College forced to change its name to "Gyeong Seong College of Administration."
- 1946 August Yonhi College was officially recognized as a university, with four colleges and 11 departments.
- 1955 March 23 Yonhi College and Severance Medical School merged.
- 1885 April 10 Gwanghyewon, Korea’s first western hospital, is established as a royal medical institution