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A bench, basketball and honoring Duke Kim

April 4, 2017

A new bench has been installed in front of the UW Intercollegiate Athletics building in memory of Duk Hwan "Duke" Kim (B.A., International Studies (Asia), 2009), thanks to the generous donation of his family. April 3, 2017.

Duk Hwan “Duke” Kim dreamt of playing in the NBA, his father said to family, friends and representatives from the University of Washington gathered on the afternoon of April 3, 2017 near the UW Department of Recreation.

Dong Yeon Kim, Duke’s father, speaks about his late son’s passion for basketball and kindness, at a commemoration ceremony in front of UW’s athletic facility.

Duke, an Asia studies major who graduated in 2009, passed away in 2013 after a battle with cancer.

In his honor, his family has donated a third memorial bench at UW, this time in front of the Intramural Activities Building, a spot where “Duke and his friends would enjoy a little chat drinking Gatorade after a game of basketball,” his father, Dong Yeon Kim, recalled.

Duke’s mother, Woo Young Kim, and friend, James Kim (no relation), a 2014 UW Geography alumnus, were also instrumental in the arrangements for the bench and ceremony on behalf of the family.

The other two benches dedicated to Duke Kim were installed in 2014 in front of the Jackson School and in the main Quad.

A bench in front of Thomson Hall, home to the Jackson School, was donated in memory of Duke Kim by his family in 2014.

“Duke was in my introductory class for international studies, and I am very proud to think that I had something to do with his passion for the world and international affairs,” said Jackson School Director Reşat Kasaba, who spoke at the April 3 commemoration ceremony. “I am also very pleased that another bench that is in front of the Jackson School is named after him. These dedication benches will be here forever, and whoever sits on them will be part of Duke’s life.”

Matt Newman, Director of Recreational Sports Program, and Gary Leonard, Senior Associate Director, Operations and Facilities, also participated in the April 3 memorial bench installation ceremony.

“We are proud to have had Duke play basketball here. He also served as one of our intramural officials,” said Newman in his remarks to the group. “Duke wasn’t just a student who came by a few times and worked out. He was someone who found another home [here] in co-curricular activity at UW. The fact that we were chosen as a site for the bench is very meaningful.”

Friends, family and UW representatives gather on and around the new bench installed in Duke Kim’s memory, April 3, 2017.

After graduating from UW, Duke received a master’s degree from John Hopkins University School of International Affairs, where he focused on Southeast Asia and South Korea, and worked at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C. as a consultant.

“It is my hope that after a game of basketball, people can take a moment to sit here on the bench and chat with their friends,” said his father in concluding the ceremony.

“It is my hope that Duke’s kindness, diligence and pure goodness will be well-remembered by others.”