John Duncan, professor of Korean in UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, has received the 23rd Yongjae Award.

Established in 1995 to honor Yongjae Paek Nak-jun, a former minister of education during the Korean War and the first president of Yonsei University who helped form the school’s first research institute, the Yongjae Award recognizes the best Korean studies scholars around the world.

Duncan traveled to Korea as a member of the United States military and graduated from Korea University in 1972. He has been a faculty member of UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures since 1989 and the director of the UCLA Center for Korean Studies since 2001.

As a leading scholar of Korean studies, Duncan has produced impressive research results in his studies of the Chosŏn dynasty. In 2000, the UCLA professor published “The Origins of the Chosŏn Dynasty,” an authoritative study that examines the transition from the Koryŏ to the Chosŏn dynasty.

At a public ceremony for the presentation of the Yongjae Award, the featured speakers included President Kim Yong-hak of Yonsei University, as well as President Yeom Jaeho of Korea University.