Dean Marvin Chun, a Yonsei graduate and the first Asian to head Yale College

■ Yonsei Research in Media /

Dean Marvin Chun, a Yonsei graduate and the first Asian to head Yale College

“Yonsei University, in the process of establishing a residential college right for Korea”

Professor Marvin Chun,
Dean of Yale College, Yonsei Graduate
(Psychology, Class of 1985)

The undergraduate education at Yale University, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world, is now being led by a Yonsei graduate. Last April, Marvin Chun who entered Yonsei’s Department of Psychology in 1985, was appointed Dean of Yale College, and began his 5-year term from last July. This is the first time in the history of Yale College, which was founded in 1701 and houses over 6,000 students and 1,100 faculty and staff, that an Asian has been appointed to this prestigious position.

Chun, who was born in America but returned to Korean during middle school, encountered many difficulties with language and culture during his university years. He remarked that he was able to overcome them all, however, thanks to the help from his professors, seniors, and friends.

He went on to receive his Ph. D. from MIT and in 1996 began teaching at Yale where he served as the Dean of Berkeley College, as well as rising to prominence an international authority in the field of Neuroscience. Following the airing of a video at Yale’s 2011 graduation ceremony in which Yale graduate and singer Sam Tsui expressed his gratitude, Chun has also become quite popular among the student body. Even prior to this, in 2010, he received Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences at Yale.

Chun revealed that “The residential college system is the heart of Yale. All undergraduate students belong to a residential college for all 4 years, and during their first 2 years they are required to live there.” He added that he had “visited Yonsei’s RC (Residential College) twice and at the time he was able to share many conversations with the professors and students there,” and that he was “proud to see that this system is being successfully implemented in a way that is right for Korea.”

“I am particularly proud and grateful to have graduated from Yonsei,” Chun remarked before offering the following advice: “In college it is important to find and follow a mentor.” He recalled, “Professor Chan Sup Chung both guided me when I was a student and made my present career possible,” before asking that “current Yonsei students listen carefully to the advice they receive and work hard each and every day to implement it.”

Updated in Dec 2017


A view of Yonsei University International Campus where its Residential College System is mainly established