The word Won in the name of the Won Institute of Graduate Studies is a transliteration of the Korean word for “circle.” Representing the oneness of the world and its citizens, it is the model for a unity of human endeavor that encompasses scientific and economic advances as well as progress in personal wisdom and humane societal values. To follow this model is to follow a path that fully integrates the individual’s inner resources with the skills and knowledge to contribute to the transformation of society and to cultivate personal peace and happiness.

The Won Institute is established in affiliation with the Won Buddhist order, a modern Buddhism created about a century ago. While it is a non-sectarian institution, the Institute is founded on the values of Won Buddhism and within the vision of Won Buddhism for a world of peace and happiness for all humanity achieved through individual self-cultivation and discipline.

Won Buddhism has a strong spirit of integration: spirituality with science, morality with social justice, equality between men and women, religious practice with secular life, and inter-religious dialogue. The Won Institute has inherited the integrative spirit of Won Buddhism and has applied it to its academic programs. This spirit is vibrant today, and has deepened among members of the community in the academic, religious, and healing realms.

Through Won Buddhism, the Institute is associated with a sister university in  Korea, Won Kwang University, the special focus of which is moral cultivation in liberal arts education and education in the healing arts, especially in the Oriental Medicine curriculum.

For more information and resources about Won Buddhism, check out our library’s Won Buddhism Library Guide, or visit