The founding idea of Chonnam National University is to foster future leaders of noble character as well as profound knowledge in professional fields and who will be able to contribute to the development of the nation and the world.
The motto of Chonnam National University is truth, creativity, and service. This motto is focused on the functions of university, i.e. pursuit of truth which is the fundamental responsibility of ivory tower, succession of traditional culture and creation of new culture, and provision of leading services to the development of the local community.
Since CNU was founded thanks to the local residents' encouragement and support and has been expected to contribute to the prosperity of the local community, such motto has been more emphasized.
How CNU Was Launched
The Honam area has long cherished its tradition of valuing justice and showing respect to the elderly. On June 9, 1952, a national university, Chonnam National University (CNU), set sail at the center of the region on a long journey of fostering the next leaders of the society, and providing a cradle of creative studies to help lead the 21st century. The university emerged from the ashes of the Korean War with the support of local citizens who wanted to develop talented people.
Before CNU came into existence, Honam was home to several colleges and schools: Gwangju Agricultural College, for instance, which had been changed from Gwangju Agricultural School that was built in 1909; Provincial Mokpo Commercial College, which evolved from Mokpo Commercial School in 1920; Provincial Gwangju Medical College, which developed from Gwangju Medical Professional School in 1944; and Private Daesung College, which emerged from Daesung Boarding School in 1951. After independence from Japanese rule in 1945, the demand for competent, educated people escalated rapidly. Against this backdrop, local residents yearned to establish a systematic higher learning institute. Their efforts bore fruit on September 16, 1951, with the creation of the Supporting Association for Establishing Chonnam National University.
The Association started by raising funds. On October 6th, 1951, it acquired the right to authorize Chonnam National University. On January 1st, 1952, a university with five colleges Agricultural College, Commercial College, Humanities College, Medical College, and a newly opened Engineering College was established. The colleges already in existence changed from being separate schools to being under the wing of CNU. On June 1st, 1952, the appointment of Dr. Sang-chae Choi as the first president, as well as eight deans, superintendents, and a chief of the offices gave the CNU the structure and functions of a university. On June 9th, 1952, the citizens in Gwangju and students witnessed CNU's historic opening ceremony. When it first started, CNU consisted of the administration offices (Office of Student Affairs and a bureau), the five colleges mentioned above, and a medical graduate school, which was authorized in May 1950.