A Great Pride of Ours
Kyung Hee Choi and her husband, Jae Sup Choi, of Harrington Park, New Jersey, have been members of the Parents & Grandparents Committee since July 2004. They have two daughters at Dartmouth: Marie '06, a government major active in Casque & Gauntlet and Palaeopitus and coordinator for Asian American Studies Initiative; and Jane '08, a sociology major, volunteer campus tour guide, and member of the SHEBA hip-hop dance troupe and Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Jae Sup is a senior vice president at Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs, an insurance brokerage firm in New York City. Kyung Hee is vice president of Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, New Jersey. Prior to her current job, Kyung Hee was managing director at JP Morgan. She took an early retirement from Wall Street after twenty-five years. The Chois moved to the United States from South Korea in 1981. Jae Sup came to pursue his studies in New York City, and Kyung Hee was transferred from JP Morgan's office in Seoul to the company's Wall Street headquarters.
Kyung Hee Choi spoke with the Parents and Grandparents Fund in March 2006 about the family's ties to Dartmouth.
Marie was debating between the University of Chicago and Dartmouth. We recommended Dartmouth. I was working at JP Morgan at that time, and I had quite a bit of experience with Dartmouth graduates in the investment banking area.
Dartmouth graduates were very impressive. They all had excellent interpersonal skills and performed well at work. There was no edge in terms of their dealings with other people. I was impressed and thought, 'There's got to be something about the education,' because this behavior was consistent among all the Dartmouth graduates I met. They were all good people and great team players. I now understand why. DOC Trips and Sophomore Summer programs are a few examples of how Dartmouth experience can shape one's interpersonal skills.
Marie did her own research about Dartmouth and liked that the happiness index among the students was one of the highest in the Ivy League. Also, Dartmouth has a very good government program and many outstanding professors. So it all worked out. Her experience was excellent and she encouraged her younger sister to join her.
Our daughters haven't done foreign study because they traveled a lot growing up, so it was not at the top of their list. But they've had interesting summer internship opportunities. Marie is into human rights issues and spent one term in Oakland doing prisoners' rights advocacy. She also worked one summer as a panelist on an intervention program in the DA's office in New York City. Our younger daughter is going to UC-San Diego for the spring term. She also did an internship at Lincoln Center with the Summer Art-in-Education program. They've had their fair share of interesting experiences off-campus.
I'm proud of the alumni connections Dartmouth has and I was always impressed on Wall Street with how connected Dartmouth alumni are. I'll tell you a funny story. Marie was in the Casque & Gauntlet (C&G) house and one day somebody knocked on the door. She opened it and met a C&G alum who'd stopped by to say hello. It was Chip O'Brien '70, my boss at JP Morgan. Now he's at Morgan Stanley. But he was out there that day recruiting Dartmouth students.
My husband and I try our best to attend the Dartmouth Club of Northern New Jersey events. The Dartmouth Aires performance in New Jersey has been a real treat for all of us around Christmas time.
I love to recruit students from the Asian community for Dartmouth and have recruited some of our neighbors. I serve on the Board of Education for my daughters' high school, which has an Asian population of about 30 percent. Many parents are looking at the big-name schools, but Dartmouth is not well known to the Asian American community. Dartmouth can stand out and be seen as friendly toward this community by launching active PR and marketing efforts.
I don't think any school is doing a particularly good job in marketing to the Asian community, except for California schools. But when you look at the number of Asian students, Dartmouth has about 12 percent, one of the lowest among the Ivies. Senior administrators need to get out the message that Asian-American students thrive at Dartmouth.
My daughters have matured a lot at Dartmouthbecome very independent and self-sufficientand their intellectual and analytical skills have grown. Marie is a senior and plans to go into public policy and do social justice advocacy work. She will eventually go to law school. We don't worry about her. We know that whatever she chooses she will be fine. She has the maturity, leadership skills, and the intellectual capacity to solve difficult and complex tasks in real life. Both daughters are learning all the life skills they need on and off campus. Dartmouth has been preparing them well.
I'm grateful and impressed by the Dartmouth philosophy and Dartmouth experience that all of us have had. Dartmouth is a great pride of ours.
If you would like to lead an outreach effort for Dartmouth parents, either in the United States or abroad, please contact Heidi Anderson.