Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Most people do not know that Eunjey Michael Cho ’12 was a chess phenom at the age of eight, as he rarely mentioned to others later on that he had won award after award. This was because at age 12 he had realized that each of his wins rendered another person a loser. Seeing the upset on his opponents’ faces, Eunjey deemed his success not worth the pain of others and gave up playing competitive chess. His mother and father, Young-e and Yong Cho, and his older brother, Jey, all noticed that Eunjey’s pure heart and thoughtful mind guided him through his life and interactions at a remarkably early age. He studied Psychology at Santa Clara University and after teaching English for a year and a half in South Korea, his parents’ birth country, Eunjey adventured through many parts of Asia. As a Jesuit volunteer in Spokane, Wash., Eunjey served as an Emergency Financial Assistance Coordinator through Catholic Charities. Eunjey had always been a talented athlete, and during his JV year, Eunjey ran two marathons. Eunjey left Spokane by bike, determined to ride back to his home in New Jersey while raising funds for the JVC. It was on Sep. 18, 2013 during this exhilarating and challenging bike journey that Eunjey was hit by an automobile and killed. He was 25 years old. His pursuit toward truth in his thoughts, words, and actions, and his innate ability to be mindful in his daily life have inspired so many people to slow down and to reflect on their own potential to be humble yet activated beings with a purpose. In his life, Eunjey developed a profound ability to approach situations and challenges in a curious, nonjudgmental, and fearless manner. He deeply honored the light and dignity within every person he met. He was wise like a grandfather but playful like a child, and he lived life with a courage to which we should all aspire.