Jeong H. Kim, founder of the successful telecommunications startup Yurie Systems Inc. and now president of carrier networks for Lucent Technologies, has pledged $1 million to the university. Kimıs gift will be divided equally between an endowment for undergraduate financial aid in the Whiting School of Engineering and research on high-tech telemedicine in the Wilmer Eye Institute.
Kim, 38, of Potomac, Md., who was consulting firm Ernst & Young's 1998 emerging entrepreneur of the year, came to the United States from Korea with his family at 14. In 1982, he graduated from the Whiting School after only three years, then served as an officer in the Navy nuclear submarine fleet.
After returning to civilian life, he earned a master's degree from the Whiting School in 1989 and then a doctorate at the University of Maryland in 1991, a year before founding Yurie Systems, which he named after his elder daughter. The company specialized in very high-speed communications technology, including the "Yurie box," which transmits voice, video and data over phone lines as well as satellite and wireless networks.
Yurie ranked No. 1 on Business Week's "hot growth" list in 1997 and led the world in 1996 and 1997 in sales of wide-area network access equipment using ATM, or asynchronous transfer mode, technology. Last year, Lucent Technologies bought the company for $1 billion. Lucent also appointed Kim president of carrier networks within its Data Networking Systems Group.
William R. Brody, president of the university, said Kim is ³a tremendous role model for our students.
"Jeong Kim's scholarship gift will help the Whiting School of Engineering attract talented students who otherwise could not afford a Hopkins education," Brody added. "This kind of support is critical to the future of the university, and we are very grateful." Endowment for scholarships and fellowships was adopted last year as a top priority for the last two years of the Johns Hopkins Initiative fund-raising campaign.
The other half of Kim's gift will support initiatives in telemedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute in the School of Medicine. Projects there include evaluation of the Digiscope, a new tool developed at Wilmer, which allows local doctors' offices to capture digital retinal images of patients and transmit them to specialists for evaluation.
"Ultimately, technology such as the Digiscope will allow us to practice global medicine," said Ingrid Zimmer-Galler, the faculty member who heads the Wilmer telemedicine program. "Such instruments can be placed in primary-care settings anywhere in the world, linking patients directly to a retinal specialist at Hopkins but sparing them the time, cost and possible hardship involved in traveling to Baltimore."
Kim said the Wilmer program is "very much in line with my own interests" at Lucent, where he hopes to help "influence the way telecommunications technology gets used in the next century.
"This is the next revolution in how medicine will be practiced," Kim said.
Kim's gift counts toward the $1.2 billion goal of the Johns Hopkins Initiative, the
campaign for the Johns Hopkins Institutions. So far, more than $1.126 billion has been
raised, of which 58 percent has been for endowment and capital purposes.