Ewha was founded by a Methodist missionary called Mary F. Scranton in 1886.
Mrs. Scranton's first-year class consisted of a single student.
But while polite society mocked the idea of trying to teach females anything other than the art of serving husband and son, King Kojong gave the enterprise his blessing.
It was King Kojong who gave the school its name in 1887, and "Ewha" means "Pear Blossoms."
The original campus was covered with them, and many historians speculate that a grove of pear trees near the Scranton home inspired the name.
The image of the pear blossom is incorporated in the school's logo.
To the early Ewha students who lived and studied in the Scranton home, the pear blossoms must have been a distinctive and memorable feature of their educational experience.
The reins of leadership passed from the hands of foreign missionaries to Korean hands when Helen Kim took over as the seventh president of Ewha Haktang and the second dean of Ewha College. Thus, the opinions of the previous foreign presidents' have influenced deciding our school name in English, and they thought that they must emphasize their education which takes every single student as an independent individual self. Their intention to emphasize each student made them not use the plural word "women", but the singular word "woman." "Womans" is all the individual student of Ewha gathered together for women's rights, and it represents the university's foundation with just one student. It further symbolizes its high respect for the individuality of her wonderful women.
Therefore, Ewha is not a "womens" university, but "womans", keeping each woman's distinctive being intact in its name, and it is our intention to maintain this spirit. Our school name may not be grammatically right, but we believe that the hidden intention behind the name may convince such opinion.
In short, the late Helen Kim, president of Ewha from 1939 to 1961, explained the neologism “Womans” in the University’s name as a desire to respect the uniqueness and individuality of each of Ewha’s students.