Born and raised in South Korea, Dr. Sungkyu “Chris” Lee appreciates the value of an education and the limitless opportunities it provides. Growing up with modest means, Dr. Lee was beyond grateful for the scholarship he received to attend medical school. “The scholarship gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to work hard and succeed,” he said. “I was determined to make a better life for myself and help others along the way.”
After completing medical school in South Korea, Dr. Lee traveled to George Washington University for his medical residency. He chose to pursue radiology because it intersected his interests in technology and medicine. The radiology program and staff at Ohio State were the perfect fit for his fellowship.
Dr. Lee’s education and training led to a successful 30-year career in the radiology department at Grant Hospital. When he retired at age 65, he was asked to join Ohio State’s Department of Radiology. “I enjoyed teaching the residents and imparting some of my knowledge and experience onto them,” said Dr. Lee. “Plus, it made me feel young again.” His venture in teaching lasted more than 10 years. Now that he is officially retired, he enjoys international travel, reading and golfing.
Dr. Lee started his philanthropic efforts in the College of Medicine by establishing the Lee family Scholarship Fund. “There is no greater gift than the gift of education,” he said. “The impact of the gift is multiplied because it empowers and motivates students to excel and use their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others.” Every year he meets with the scholarship recipients and enjoys learning more about their lives and the impact of his generosity. The only thing he asks of his recipients is that in the future they will do whatever they can to help the next generations of students.
After learning more about the Korean language program in the College of Arts and Sciences, he established the Chris Lee Korean Performance Research Fund, which will ultimately be funded with a gift from his will. He started this fund with the goal of bringing Korean traditions and cultures to campus. He hopes that it will raise awareness and get more students interested in Korean culture.
“The most valuable thing we can leave behind is our names,” said Dr. Lee. “When people hear my name, I want them to remember me for my generosity and use that to start a chain reaction of giving.”