New Professorship Honors Trustee’s Mother
When Young Ja Lim emigrated with her husband and four sons from rural South Korea to Philadelphia in 1973, she couldn’t have imagined how their lives would unfold. After working for more than a decade in a clothing factory, with her husband toiling in a steel mill, the couple opened a dry cleaning business that they ran for more than 30 years. They retired to a Pennsylvania farm, both at age 75, after watching their sons graduate from top schools, including Washington College. Jim Lim ’91, an economics major, is paying tribute to his remarkable mother, who passed away last November, with a $1 million gift to the College to establish the Young Ja Lim Professorship in Economics.
Young Ja Lim was born in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1937 to South Korean parents. The family was in Japan when the atomic bombs were dropped in 1945 but moved back to Korea when Young Ja, the eldest of six siblings, was 8. Her education ended after junior high school, and she worked the fields in rural Korea to help support the family until her marriage in 1964.
“When I think of my mom, many positive attributes come to mind, but sacrifice and service to others come to the forefront,” Lim says. “My mom always put other people’s needs ahead of her own. It gives my family and me great pride to endow a chair in economics in her name, an honor she never thought possible, given her own limited academic background. What she lacked in academic degrees, she was rich in credentials that really mattered.”
In addition to his economics degree from Washington College, Lim has an MBA in finance from Indiana University. He is a managing general partner with Greenspring Associates, a venture capital firm. He was previously a director at Commonfund Capital and managed the private capital portfolio at Pfizer. Lim serves on WC’s Board of Visitors and Governors and on the limited partner boards of more than a dozen financial firms. He also currently serves on the board of Kareo and is a board observer of Exinda. He and his wife, Ann, live in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, with their two children.
The recipient of the Young Ja Lim Professorship will be named in fall 2018.