ISU renames College of Fine Arts after $12 million gift

Wonsook Kim (left) at a ceremony Thursday at Illinois State University. (Blake Haas/WJBC)


By Blake Haas and Neil Doyle

NORMAL – Illinois State University has honored an aluma after a $12 million gift to the school.

Famous artist Wonsook Kim and her husband Thomas Clement donated to support ISU’s College of Fine Arts and School of Art.

In recognition of the couple’s gift, ISU President Larry Dietz announced the naming of the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and the Wonsook Kim School of Art.

“With their $12 million gift, Wonsook and Thomas are providing for current students and investing in the future of Illinois State,” said Dietz.

“It’s just unbelievable and I’m so incredibly honored that this chance came to me,” said Kim.

The $12 million will support initiatives including updates to technology, facilities, supplies and student scholarships.

“ISU has always been such a sound and solid institution, maybe this will add a little acceleration for some of the programs,” Kim added.

Kim moved to the United States to study at ISU. She left the school in 1978 with three degrees.  At this year’s Founder’s Day, she was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts.

Blake Haas can be reached at

Neil Doyle can be reached at


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