SOME BASIC FACTS CONCERNING THE
HASTINGS COLLEGE "KOREAN MILITARY SCHOOL"
The Hastings branch of this School seems to have been established in 1910.
We are not sure exactly how many students were involved during the first year; however, the Hastings Daily Tribune, gives the number as 26.
According to various newspaper articles, 40 students made up the School’s population in 1911.
Although an exact number for the size of the Korean Summer School population in 1912 seems to be unavailable, we do have evidence that 13 Korean students received diplomas at the end of that session.
In 1913, the population was 35.
Several of the Koreans connected with the Hastings College branch of the Military Summer School later assumed positions of national and world responsibility: Syngman Rhee, who seems to have organized the U.S. summer schools and periodically visited each of them as a Supervisor later became the President of the provisional government established in Korea in 1919, finally being elected President of the Republic of Korea in 1948. Rhee was reelected to his position as President for second, third, and fourth terms. Chang Soon Yoo, a student at Hastings College in 1949 and 1950, became Prime Minister of South Korea in 1982.
G.M. Piak, the Summer School Principal of the Hastings branch for three years, later became Editor of a major Korean newspaper published in Hawaii.
Wang Sun Yun, who died in 1936 (during his third year as a Hastings College student) and is buried in Judge J.M. Turbyfill’s family plot in Parkview Cemetery, was very active in campus affairs, as well as being well-known throughout the Hastings community.
We know from the "Minutes" of the Hastings College Faculty for March 13, 1912, that "the Korean Summer School was allowed the use of the [College] grounds, two recitation rooms, the refectory, and the gymnasium for their School, but not the use of the dormitories; they agreed to pay any damage, use of lights, etc., and to furnish one man without charge for care of the [College] grounds." The year 1913 must have been the year when they lived in tents pitched on the College campus.
Classes taught in the Summer Military School included history, English language, basic mathematics, and other studies common to the usual high school course of studies.
The Korean students participated in the College’s literary societies, the debating club, the dramatic club, and in various sports.
Bible classes were held twice weekly from 8 - 9 in the evenings.
Military tactics were studied and practiced during three evenings each week. When involved in military practice, the Korean students wore US and Korean Military Academy uniforms. Their military practices were carried on under American "colors," with the Korean flag hoisted immediately below the American flag.
The students had no guns, but used wooden sticks for their rifle and bayonet practices. They were divided into two companies, matched against each other in sham battles.