On Thursday, June 20, FIT at SUNY Korea celebrated its first undergraduate commencement, marking a milestone for the college. The commencement ceremony, which included graduates from Stony Brook University at SUNY Korea, was held at SUNY Korea in Songdo, South Korea. Thirty-five FIT students graduated with an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. More than half of them are continuing their studies at FIT’s New York and Milan campuses.
FIT is the second State University of New York (SUNY) institution to offer degree programs at SUNY Korea in Songdo. SUNY is the first American university in Korea and is also SUNY’s first global campus outside of the United States. FIT at SUNY Korea is FIT’s third international location, along with Milan and Florence, Italy. FIT’s New York campus will soon celebrate its 75th anniversary. In each of the last 20 years, South Korea has sent FIT more students than any other country in the world, and FIT now has nearly 2,000 Korean alumni living and working in Korea.
The FIT graduates are all from the Fashion Design and Fashion Business Management programs—two signature curricula of the college. FIT at SUNY Korea offers a two-year AAS degree program. SUNY Korea offers students the opportunity to study the multinational environment of Korea, the center of the K-wave and K-pop culture. Forty percent of FIT at SUNY Korea students are international. After students complete the program, they may apply to FIT’s bachelor’s degree programs in New York or in Milan for Fashion Design.
FIT faculty who launched the program in its first year were Robin Baxter, Assistant Professor, Fashion Business Management and Lisa Donofrio-Ferrezza, Associate Professor, Fashion Design. Leonard Bess, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design and Meeta Roy, Assistant Professor, Fashion Business Management picked up the baton in the 2018-19 academic year.
Incheon Metropolitan City and FIT at SUNY Korea also participated in “2019 Incheon Fashion Festa, The Runway,” on June 21. Held at the United Nations Plaza in Songdo Central Park, the runway show featured garments created by FIT’s bachelor’s degree students in Fashion Design from New York. These designs were originally presented in The Future of Fashion runway show held at FIT’s New York campus on May 9.
Since its establishment in 2012, SUNY Korea has continued to expand its scope of programs in a variety of academic fields such as engineering, fashion, business, and science. SUNY Korea’s Incheon Global Campus is Korea’s only “smart city” and is quickly becoming Northeast Asia’s economic hub. The campus features state-of-the-art facilities, classrooms, a library, research labs, a sports center, auditorium, multicultural activity center, dining hall, dormitory, and guest house, among other amenities. The Incheon Global Campus is a national project established by the Korean government and Incheon Metropolitan City.
2019 Incheon Fashion Festa, The Runway