Message from Bishop Mary Ann Swenson

Psalm 8 Begins, “O Lord our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth….when I look At Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars You have established, what Are we humans that You are mindful of us…”

At EWHA University we understand that the wonderment of the universe inspires the human mind to ponder the meaning of life and to contemplate the nature of the great reality which we call God within and throughout the universe. This quest to understand the realities of the universe captivated the minds of primitive people as it has for people throughout history. The quest is real to those who probe the galaxies with the telescope and those who now take space flights around the earth and return with awe about what they have experienced.

The International Foundation for Ewha Womans University has a mission of supporting women with scholarships so they can learn and lead and guide others in expanding horizons, discovering cures for cancer and covid and the disastrous effects of climate change and so many other global needs, to help the human community live together better in years to come.

From modest beginnings in 1886 as a missionary school, it opened the first door of learning for women in Korea. There was a vision to build a world where women are empowered and their values and achievements matter. Years ago President Helen Kim and Alice Appenzeller and many others recognized that women are critical to changing this troubled world of ours. They believed that education is one of the best and most effective ways of bringing about that change and of instilling hope for the future.

I have visited the campus many times, preached in chapel, and participated in seminars about women in leadership. I believe in the university and its mission. As a United Methodist Bishop I am happy about the strong relationship with Methodist mission throughout the school’s history. I am thrilled that Ewha is the largest women’s university in the world and one of the best schools on earth.

I keep remembering a comment of former foundation president Dr. Marc Mullinax when he described conversations with students and said that so many shared a similar question. He said each asked uniquely in her own voice: How do I serve God and my fellow human beings in my one precious life? We keep asking this question as we recognize that change and growth are integral to the human experience and understanding. So we are committed to a calling, faithful to a purpose, trusting in divine wisdom to guide us that we may contribute to helping our world improve in every possible way, as we proclaim, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name throughout the earth.”

Bishop Mary Ann Swenson,
President International Foundation for EWU, Inc.