For Joon Park, an IU education did more than equip him with skills directly related to a career. It also proved foundational to his worldview and critical thinking skills--attributes that, he says, have defined his success since. Today, as a 1998 graduate of IU Bloomington and chief operating officer of Investment Management at Alyeska Investment Group, L.P., Park remains involved with philanthropy at IU as a way to pay it forward to the next generation.
“For me, [an IU education] really opened up a lot of critical thinking skills that I’ve used in the business world,” Park said. “I wanted to find a way to provide either resources or funding, so as many students can benefit from similar types of intellectual enlightenment or political consciousness that I experienced at IU.”
One of the key ways Park has supported IU has been through giving back to the Asian Culture Center, which he helped found as a student. Awarded through the center, the Joon Park Student Leadership Experience Scholarship supports students who aim to participate in professional development opportunities focused on community engagement and advocacy. By funding the scholarship, Park hopes to support the legacy of excellence at the Asian Culture Center and at IU more broadly--a legacy that, he says, helps prepare students for the demands of the future.
“The ability to think abstractly and to think outside of the consensus model is important, which has been my drive and the impetus behind my philanthropy at IU,” Park said.