USC Price School of Public Policy

The Ki Suh and Ildong C. Park Undergraduate Lab: An enduring gift to urban planning

January 28, 2015

The Ki Suh and Ildong C. Park Undergraduate Lab provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge to a project for real-world clients in L.A.

By Megan Goulding

The USC Price School of Public Policy received a generous gift from Ildong C. Park to establish and endow the Ki Suh and Ildong C. Park Undergraduate Lab, a week-long professional learning lab for undergraduate Price students pursuing careers in urban planning and community development. Ildong Park made this gift in honor of her late husband, Ki Suh Park, a renowned architect and urban planner.

Under the supervision of Price faculty, this lab will annually provide students with a week-long intensive program in which they apply knowledge learned in the classroom to a professional project for real-world clients in Los Angeles. As part of this lab, students will complete a culminating project focused on neighborhoods and urban development.

“I am pleased to establish the Ki Suh and Ildong C. Park Undergraduate Lab at the USC Price School of Public Policy,” said Ildong Park. “I believe this lab will provide students with a rich and dynamic experience in urban planning and community development, and it gives me great pride to make this gift in honor of my late husband.”

The lab is a fitting tribute to Ki Suh Park, who spent much of his life working to improve the built environment within the greater Los Angeles region. Ki Suh Park was a Partner at Gruen Associates, a prominent Los Angeles architectural firm, and led the development of a number of highly recognizable city landmarks, including the Los Angeles Convention Center, the 105 freeway, Koreatown Plaza, and the Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County.

In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Ki Suh Park was a dedicated mentor and supporter of the next generation of community planners, serving as a member of USC Price’s Board of Councilors and the Advisory Board for the Master of Planning degree program.

“We are tremendously grateful to Ildong C. Park for designating this generous gift in honor of her late husband,” said USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott. “Ki Suh Park was a man of great integrity, who dedicated his life to improving the community around him, and his legacy will continue to inspire current Price students.”

The first Ki Suh and Ildong C. Park Undergraduate Lab will be held in spring 2016, and will be open to all undergraduate students at Price.

This lab builds upon the Price School’s expanding commitment to undergraduate lab experiences. In May 2014, the school hosted a lab for 20 students in Detroit, where they worked with the nonprofit organization Detroit Future City to identify new opportunities for community revitalization. In spring 2015, the school will host an undergraduate lab in Washington, D.C., focused on millennial leadership. This week-long class will help students develop leadership and problem-solving skills to address policy issues at the local, state, and federal level.