Title : The 600th Anniversary of the Founding of Songkyunkwan
Stamp Serial#
Date of Issue
170 won 
Myungnyundand Hall and a gingko tree 
Park, Eun-kyung 
Image Area
Sheet Composition
White unwatermarked
Korea Security Printing and Minting Corporation 
The history of higher education in Korea began with T'aehak, founded in the Koguryo kingdom in 372 A.D. It was, however, not until Sungkyunkwan-the predecessor of Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)-was founded in the seventh cycle of the lunar calendar in 1398 during the early Choson period that a medieval university in its true sense came into existence. King Taejo founded Sungyunkwan four years after moving the seat of government to Seoul, endowing the new university with all necessary facilities.

Even then, the university was the same size as it is today, and stands on its original site in Myungyun-dong. As the supreme institution of higher learning all throughout the Choson dynasty, Sungkyunkwan served the people of Korea by producing talented government officials, It strove to live up to its founding spirit of "Building character and justly governing the people". Sungkyunkwan was indeed the alma mater of most of Korea's distinguished scholars, thereby contributing to the advancement of the national culture.

In 1895, Sungkyunkwan became the nation's first modern university when the three-year Confucian classics department was established by royal decree by King Kojong. Sungkyunkwan was stripped of all its educational functions after the Janpanese annexation of Korea, prompting many of its alumni to participate with even greater determination in the country for the restoration of Korea's national sovereignty. After liberation, Sungkyunkwan University was reestablished as a private college in 1946 with Kim Ch'ang-sook, an independence fighter and prominent Confucian scholar, serving as its first dean. This venerable institution of higher learning has since been reinventing itself while carrying on the proud 600-year-long tradition as Korea's national university.

On the occasion of its 600th birthday, the university is holding a number of different events including the "World Forum for Presidents of Time-Honored Universities". Most important, is that the university is working hard to uphold the ideals of Benevo Righteousness, Propriety, and Wisdom, and is unfolding its 'Vision 2010' Development Plan in expectation of remaking itsself as the world center of Asian and Korean studies.

On September 25, 1998, the Ministry of Information and Communication is issuing a commemorative stamp to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Sungkyunkwan University, Korea's oldest such institution. This new stamp features Myungnyundang Hall, where students of Confucianism once studied, and a gingko tree is known as "Gingko Platform" and is a symbol of Confucian learning as legend has it that Confucius used to teach his students under a gingiko tree. Let friends and family have a glimpse into Sungkyunkwan University's unique and storied history by sending them letters bearing this stamp today.