Yun Ch'i-Ho: Christian, Korean, Early Emory Alumnus

An exhibit showcasing the papers of Emory's first international student.

Yun Ch'i-Ho in formal wear. Young John Allen papers

In 1885 Yun Ch’i-Ho was running for his life. Born in 1864 to a prominent family in Korea, Yun was studying in Japan when he met U.S. Commodore Lucius H. Foote.

Yun returned to Korea as a translator for Commodore Foote and began working with a liberal organization of Korean aristocrats set to modernize their country. His participation in this group exposed him to death threats and forced him to flee Korea.

With the help of Commodore Foote, Yun Ch’i-Ho escaped to Shanghai, where he enrolled in the Anglo-Chinese College run by the missionary Dr. Young John Allen, a graduate of Emory University. At the college, Yun converted to Christianity and was baptized into the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1888, Dr. Allen secured Yun a place at Vanderbilt University. After studying theology there, he transferred to Emory College in 1891 as the institution’s first international student. Yun Ch’i-Ho’s time at Emory heavily influenced his life, his legacy, and Emory’s place on the international stage.