For immediate release:
May 13, 2017

Hannah Marr
Shareese Churchill

First Lady Yumi Hogan Receives 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor
National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Recognizes First Lady at 31st Annual Ceremony

ANNAPOLIS, MD – First Lady Yumi Hogan today received a 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in recognition of her accomplishments in leadership and inspired service to the state and nation.

“It is an honor to be one of the recipients of the 2017 Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and I am truly humbled to be among the honorees awarded with this prestigious recognition,” said First Lady Yumi Hogan. “I grew up on a small chicken farm in rural South Korea and immigrated to the United States over 36 years ago. I never thought I would be here today, and am constantly amazed and incredibly grateful to find myself in a position where I can help so many people in need.”

First Lady Yumi Hogan is the first Korean-American First Lady in the United States and the first Asian-American First Lady in the history of Maryland. She is a first-generation Korean-American, an accomplished artist, and an adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her artwork, created on traditional Hanji paper with Sumi ink and mixed media, has been featured in art shows and museums in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and South Korea.

As First Lady, she has made it a priority to share her love of the arts with Marylanders of all ages through arts education. Since November 2015, First Lady Hogan has served as the Honorary Chair of the Council for Arts and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, working with the University and Baltimore City to promote the arts.

In 2016, First Lady Hogan received the Inspirational Leader Award from the International Leadership Foundation, which recognized her as a trailblazing political and community leader and a role model to the Asian-Pacific American community and all Americans. She was also recognized for her work caring for cancer patients and raising awareness of the disease, following the governor’s struggle with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, with the Pheo Para Alliance’s Dr. Cyrus Katzen Humanitarian Award.

The Ellis Island Medals of Honor embrace America’s ideals in its celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity; as well as recognizing individuals who share their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity with those less fortunate. Previous honorees include six Presidents of the United States, as well as esteemed Americans such as Muhammad Ali, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and Rosa Parks. Since 1986, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) has sponsored the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, which has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards. For more information visit