I’m learning—through trial and error—that as an alumni of SUA, a citizen in my community, and a member of the human race, I have to take responsibility wherever I go, wherever I am, whether it’s because I want to see change in my community for the better, or if it means supporting my community leaders to the best of my ability.
Reflect and Recommit 20 Years in Aliso Viejo
Reaffirming Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion
This is a particularly proud moment for Soka University of America as we celebrate our 20th anniversary in Aliso Viejo on May 3, 2021. It seems that only yesterday an exhilarated first undergraduate class came to campus passionate about trailblazing a path toward peace. Two weeks later, on September 11, 2001, the unthinkable occurred. Undaunted and undefeated, faculty, students, and staff redoubled efforts to build an educational community based on rigorous academics, free and open dialogue, and an appreciation for human diversity. Now, 20 years later, we find ourselves living through another unprecedented time.
In his 2020 welcome message to new students, SUA founder Daisaku Ikeda reaffirmed that humanistic education is vital to charting a course to a future shaped by the values of peace, human rights, and the dignity and sanctity of life.
“A youthful life resolved to continue learning, come what may,” Mr. Ikeda wrote, “can never be defeated.”
In our 20th anniversary year, there is much to celebrate. Still, much work lies ahead—work that will enable deeper engagement with our founding principles. As members of the Soka community, we share the hopes of ordinary people everywhere that humanistic education will foster leaders capable of advancing peace and transforming the root causes of conflict, division, and human suffering.
Together, let us aspire to become exemplar global citizens, consistently challenging our own personal growth and development, while contributing to the well-being of our communities, nature, and humanity. Our 20th anniversary is a moment of reflection, but more importantly, it’s a time for action as we open SUA’s next era together.
Este es un momento de especial orgullo para Soka University of America (SUA). Estamos en los preparativos para celebrar nuestro vigésimo aniversario el 3 de mayo de 2021 en Aliso Viejo, California. Parecería que fue ayer mismo que la entusiasta y apasionada primera clase de estudiantes arribara al campus con la finalidad de abrir un camino hacia la paz. Dos semanas después, el 11 de septiembre de 2001, ocurrió lo impensable. Impertérritos e indoblegables catedráticos, estudiantes y personal administrativo redoblaron sus esfuerzos en construir una comunidad educativa basada en el rigor académico, el diálogo libre y abierto, y el aprecio por la diversidad humana. Ahora, casi dos décadas después, nos encontramos viviendo otro momento histórico sin precedente alguno. En su mensaje de bienvenida a los estudiantes, ingresantes en 2020, Daisaku Ikeda, fundador de SUA, reafirmó que una educación humanística es vital para trazar el rumbo hacia un futuro configurado por los valores de la paz, los derechos humanos, y la dignidad y santidad de la vida.
“Una vida juvenil resuelta a continuar aprendiendo pase lo que pase,” escribió el señor Ikeda, “nunca puede ser derrotada.”
A medida que nos acerquemos a nuestro vigésimo aniversario, habrá mucho que celebrar. Aún así, queda mucho trabajo por hacer, trabajo que conduce a un compromiso más profundo con nuestros principios fundacionales. Como miembros de la comunidad Soka, compartimos las esperanzas de la gente común y corriente de todo el mundo; quienes creen que la educación humanística fomenta líderes capaces de promover la paz, una educación que transforma las causas fundamentales de los conflictos, las divisiones y el sufrimiento humano. Juntos aspiremos a convertirnos en ciudadanos globales ejemplares, desafiemos constantemente nuestro propio crecimiento y desarrollo personal, y simultáneamente contribuyamos al bienestar de nuestras comunidades, la naturaleza y la humanidad. Nuestro vigésimo aniversario será un momento de reflexión, pero lo más importante es que será un momento para tomar acción mientras colectivamente abrimos la próxima fase de Soka University of America.
Notre université est fière d’annoncer la célébration de son 20ème anniversaire le 3 mai 2021 à Aliso Viejo. Il nous semble que ce n’était qu’hier que notre première classe est arrivée sur notre campus, prête à ouvrir une voie à la paix. Deux semaines plus tard, le 11 septembre, l’impensable s’est produit. Les professeur·e·s, les étudiant·e·s et le personnel, résolu·e·s et calmes, ont redoublé d’efforts pour construire une communauté éducative fondée sur de rigoureuses bases universitaires, sur la liberté d’expression, et une appréciation de la diversité humaine. Aujourd’hui, 20 ans plus tard, nous vivons un autre moment sans précédent. Dans son message de bienvenue de 2020 aux nouveaux étudiant·e·s, le fondateur de SUA, Daisaku Ikeda, a réaffirmé que l’éducation versée dans les humanités est essentielle pour tracer la voie vers un avenir façonné par les valeurs de paix, des droits des êtres humains, pour la dignité et le caractère sacré de la vie.
M. Ikeda a écrit que « la jeunesse déterminée à s’instruire ne se découragera jamais ».
À l’approche de notre 20ème anniversaire, nous avons des raisons de nous réjouir. Il nous reste encore beaucoup de travail à faire, qui nous poussera à soutenir encore d’avantage nos valeurs fondamentales. À Soka, nous espérons que l’éducation humaniste incitera les chefs de file à faire progresser la paix, à transformer les causes profondes des conflits, des divisions et des souffrances humaines. Ensemble, aspirons à devenir des citoyens du monde exemplaires, remettons inlassablement en question notre propre développement et enrichissement personnels, tout en contribuant au bien-être de nos communautés, de la nature et de l’humanité. Faisons de notre 20ème anniversaire non seulement un moment de réflexion, mais aussi un moment pour agir alors que nous ouvrons ensemble une prochaine étape pour SUA.
二0二一年五月三日，我們準備在Aliso Viejo慶祝二十周年。 對於美國創價大學來說, 這是一個特別值得驕傲的時刻。 似乎就在昨天，興奮的第一屆本科生來到校園，滿懷激情地開拓一條通往和平的道路。 兩周後，即二00一年九月十一日，難以置信的事情發生了。 教師、學生和教職員工以毫不畏懼、百折不撓的精神加，倍努力，用嚴謹的學術、自由開放的對話以及對人類多樣性的欣賞為基礎，建立了這個教育社區。 二十年後的今天，我們又發現自己正在經歷一個前所未有的時代。 美國創價大學創始人池田大作(Daisaku Ikeda)在二0二0年對新生的歡迎辭中重申，人文教育對於通往一個以和平、人權以及生命尊嚴和神聖性所塑造的未來道路至關重要。
在即將迎接20周年之際，我們既有很多值得慶祝的事情，也有許多工作要做。 這些工作將使我們更深入地遵循我們的創立原則。 作為創價社區的成員，我們同世界各地的普通民眾一樣，希望人文教育培養能夠促進和平、改變衝突及分裂和人類苦難根源的領導人。 讓我們共同立志成為全球公民的典範，不斷挑戰我們自己的個人成長，同時為我們的社區、自然界和人類的福祉做出貢獻。 我們的二十周年將是一個反思的時刻。 更重要的是，這是我們為共同開啟SUA下一個時代採取行動的時刻。
二0二一年五月三日，我们准备在Aliso Viejo庆祝二十周年。对于美国创价大学来说，这是一个特别值得骄傲的时刻。似乎就在昨天，兴奋的第一届本科生来到校园，满怀激情地开拓一条通往和平的道路。两周后，即二00一年九月十一日，难以置信的事情发生了。教师、学生和教职员工以毫不畏惧、百折不挠的精神，加倍努力，用严谨的学术、自由开放的对话以及对人类多样性的欣赏为基础，建立了这个教育社区。二十年后的今天，我们又发现自己正在经历一个前所未有的时代。美国创价大学创始人池田大作（Daisaku Ikeda）在二0二0年对新生的欢迎辞中重申，人文教育对于通往一个以和平、人权以及生命尊严和神圣性所塑造的未来道路至关重要。
An Anthology of Student Work
In the fall of 2020, when the steering committee first met to discuss SUA’s 20th anniversary, faculty, staff, and administrators thought that the forthcoming celebration should be a moment to reaffirm our school’s founding principles—to learn them anew and incorporate them into our lives across campus. We also wanted to give students the chance to teach us about those principles, showing us how they’ve been learned, interpreted, believed in and doubted, and ultimately realized in the work that they’ve been creating for 20 years.
To that end, we have collected a anthology, a compendium of videos and flyers and cosmic photographs and reflections and essays and songs. To call it an anthology suggests some exemplar status, but these submissions are outstandingly great without meaning to be the “best” of anything. They’re more like a time capsule of wonderful works that might otherwise have been handed in and forgotten. We’ve started the process of gathering them here so that they can live on.
What Does Soka Mean to You?
The 20th Anniversary Community Engagement Committee invites Soka students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and visitors to submit photos showing how SUA contributes to the world. What does Soka mean to you?
Reimagine Soka Creating Value for the Future
Soka University Los Angeles Opens
Founder Daisaku Ikeda welcomes 40 study abroad students from Soka University of Japan to the new SULA campus in Calabasas, nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. Mr. Ikeda asks the students to become international leaders and shoulder the establishment of world peace in the 21st century.
A Language Program for the Community
Learning that local residents in Calabasas wanted to study Japanese, SULA offers an introductory class for working adults in the evening. The program’s popularity spurs the creation of the Japanese Language Center led by Director Tomoko Takahashi and the addition of courses in advanced Japanese, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Russian.
Hosting a Civil Rights Icon
Rosa Parks, a pioneer in the US civil rights movement, is the featured panelist for a Human Rights Lecture Series event, “Civil Rights for American Ethnic Minorities.” The next month, on Jan. 30, Mrs. Parks meets founder Daisaku Ikeda on campus. “I felt a spark of recognition pass between us because I, too, have spent my life working for a cause,” Mr. Ikeda says.
Opening a Graduate School
Renamed Soka University of America, the school becomes a degree-granting institution under founding Dean Tomoko Takahashi. Ten students enroll in a new MA program for teaching English as a second language. In his message to the first class, founder Daisaku Ikeda writes, “The mission of Soka University of America is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life.”
Planning for an Aliso Viejo Campus
After growing pains in Calabasas that included local opposition to expansion plans, Soka decides to build an additional campus in Aliso Viejo. The plan receives Rosa Parks’ endorsement with a letter to the Orange County planning agency: “The university shares my beliefs for a peaceful world of health and prosperity for its citizens and I know their progress is absolutely vital for the next century.”
First Graduate School Commencement
Nine students in the inaugural Graduate School class graduate in Ikeda Auditorium in Minuteman Hall. Harvard professor emeritus John D. Montgomery, then director of the Pacific Basin Research Center, is the speaker. In his congratulatory message, Mr. Ikeda proclaims that Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s vision of humanistic education has come to fruition in the United States.
An Official Mascot, Logo, and Colors
Symbolizing courage, strength, and the role of teachers as mentors nurturing each student’s potential, the lion is chosen as Soka’s mascot. The logo, presented in royal blue, white, and gold, illustrates the collaboration of knowledge and wisdom in the service of humanity.
Building a New Campus in Aliso Viejo
At founder Daisaku Ikeda’s request, the 103-acre site in Orange County’s coastal hills is designed to resemble a Tuscan village, incorporating plazas, terraces, and gardens to foster a natural connection between people and environment. A 4,000-acre wilderness park surrounds campus on three sides. Construction of the first 18 buildings takes two years to complete.
Laying the Cornerstone for Ikeda Library
Orange County Supervisor Tom Wilson and 700 guests are present for the setting of the cornerstone of Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda Library. A time capsule is sealed, to be opened on SUA’s 100th anniversary in 2101. The entering class of 2001 later adds messages of hope to future students. A plaque located to the right of the library’s main door commemorates the capsule.
A Gala for the New Millennium
Featuring 600 guests and 100 volunteers, the Passport to the New Millennium in Ikeda Library is the first indoor event on the Aliso Viejo campus. The gala raises more than $75,000 for the Millennium Scholarship Endowment.
Dedicating Linus and Ava Helen Pauling Hall
Linus Pauling Jr. and the Pauling family attends the academic building’s dedication on Pauling Plaza. The late Linus Pauling, good friend to Daisaku Ikeda and an ally of Soka Education, was awarded two Nobel Prizes, for chemistry in 1954 and for peace in 1962. Together they authored the book A Lifelong Quest for Peace: A Dialogue.
Linus Pauling and the 20th Century Exhibit
The exhibit in Founders Hall depicts Pauling’s life as one of challenge, deed, and conviction. Ikeda wrote the following: “Pauling represents the engagement of heart and mind. He did not allow the prestige that follows public intellectuals to prevent him from standing up against nuclear proliferation. His commitment to peace and humanitarianism never faltered.”
Dedication Weekend for the Aliso Viejo Campus
Three thousand guests attend and California Governor Gray Davis declares May 3 Soka University of America Day. Founder Daisaku Ikeda asks that the following four principles guide SUA: foster leaders of culture in the community; foster leaders of humanism in society; foster leaders of pacifism in the world; and foster leaders for the creative coexistence of nature and humanity.
Graduate School Alumni Association Named Soseikai
Founder Daisaku Ikeda names the graduate school alumni association Soseikai. In Japanese, So is from Soka (“value creation”), Sei means “pledge” or “vow” and Kai means “group.” Soseikai is committed to working toward actualizing Soka Education in the world.
First Move-In Day in Residence Halls
The first undergraduate class moves into two residence halls, appointed in cherry wood and providing a pantry, exercise rooms, multi-faith rooms, and laundry facilities. By 2005, eight halls had been completed and named by students: Sunset, Sunrise, Abeona, Somnus, Aurora, Horizon, Umoja, and Minutemen (later renamed Acjachemen to honor the indigenous people of California who inhabited the area).
Dedicating Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi Hall
Arun Gandhi speaks of witnessing his grandfather employ non-violent resistance to bring lasting change. Founder Daisaku Ikeda, in a message, urges students to embody Gandhi’s spirit, sharing that Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired by Gandhi’s peaceful protests. Soka opens the “Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace” exhibit.
SUA Welcomes Inaugural Class
One hundred twenty students from 18 states and 18 countries are welcomed by SUA President Daniel Y. Habuki, staff members, faculty, and administrators at the first Entrance Ceremony. With a pioneering spirit, the class dives into Soka’s liberal arts curriculum in one of three concentrations: humanities, international studies, or social and behavioral sciences.
A Vigil for Peace
On the evening of September 11, a candlelight vigil is organized by students at Peace Lake. The vigil, which draws about 300 people, reshapes students’ thinking about their role as global citizens. Students later send a letter to President George W. Bush, urging him to respond to the attack in a spirit of non-violence.
Summer Bridge Program Launched
The Summer Bridge program launches in Calabasas to help non-English-speaking students admitted to the BA program in Aliso Viejo. In 2007, the program is moved to Aliso Viejo.
First Student Festival
Uniting around the theme of “Defining SUA”, the first student festival is held. Centering on small discussion groups, it marks a turning point for the pioneering class. They discuss the mission and founding principles of SUA and deepen their understanding of their role as young founders.
The First International Festival
Soka celebrates its first birthday in Aliso Viejo with the International Festival. More than 100 vendors and 3,500 people from communities throughout Orange County enjoy music, performances, food, and children’s activities.
First Study Abroad Semesters
Soka, the first US liberal arts college to mandate a study abroad semester, sends 35 students overseas in the fall and 64 in the spring. Students study in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, China, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and Taiwan.
A Unique Winter Session
In Learning Clusters, Soka’s students and faculty collaborate to design project-based research seminars held each January. Issues related to social justice, marginalized communities, and the diverse cultures of Southern California and across the world are often explored. The experience transforms students as they work to embody the imaginative empathy characteristic of global citizens.
PBRC Moves to Aliso Viejo
Established in 1991 by founder Daisaku Ikeda to advance research on the peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific region, the Pacific Basin Research Center operated from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government until moving to Aliso Viejo. Harvard Professor Emeritus John D. Montgomery was the first director.
Soka Lion Athletics Arrives
Resolved to promote growth through sportsmanship, community outreach, and competitive experiences, Soka athletics is launched with men’s and women’s swimming teams. The Lions, who regularly win sportsmanship and service awards, now field men’s and women’s soccer, cross-country, track and field, and women’s golf teams.
Founder Responds to Commencement Invitation
Students receive a letter from Mr. Ikeda informing them he cannot attend Soka’s first commencement ceremony in Aliso Viejo. He encourages them to take full responsibility for SUA, writing, “it is my sincere hope that in sharing the same determination and conviction as myself, you, as young founders, will muster up the strength to build a new history of Soka Education for the future generations to come.”
Students Publish Collection of Founder's Remarks
The Soka Student Government Association (now the Soka Student Union) publishes For the Leaders of the 21st Century, a collection of speeches, messages, essays, and poems written by founder Daisaku Ikeda. The student leaders hope to inspire future SUA students to contribute to the further development of young founders.
Students Present First Soka Education Conference
The student-run Soka Education Student Research Project studies Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s value creating pedagogy to better implement the philosophy of Soka Education in their lives. About 75 people attend presentations and small group dialogue in the first conference.
SUA's First Undergraduate Commencement
Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, former under-secretary general of the United Nations, is the speaker at SUA, AV’s first commencement ceremony. In his congratulatory message, founder Daisaku Ikeda asks graduates to emulate Helen Keller’s spirit of “fighting optimism,” and to never forsake their dreams.
Soka Receives Accreditation
SUA receives Initial Accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission — four years ahead of schedule.
Hosting a Gala for Peace
The inaugural Peace Gala is held in the Athenaeum with Patrick Duffy, star of CBS’s Dallas, serving as the first master of ceremonies. Since 2005, Soka Peace Galas have raised more than $9 million to benefit the scholarship endowment.
Founder Daisaku Ikeda Names Undergraduate Alumni Association
Sohokai, which translates to “Treasures of Soka,” has grown to 1,500 alumni since its establishment. It spans several regional chapters and professional networking groups across the globe, with a mission of strengthening lifelong friendships and fostering enduring connections to SUA.
Soka's Calabasas Era Ends
With the completion of the integration of the Graduate School, the English learning program, and the library on the Aliso Viejo campus, SUA’s Calabasas campus is officially closed.
Extended Bridge Program Begins
The Extended Bridge Program, a two-semester intensive English language program, is created to help non-English-speaking students who are conditionally admitted to the BA program. The first class is made up of 21 students from Japan and Korea.
New Student Song "On the Path of Peace"
“On the Path of Peace,” written by the SUA Song Committee and titled by founder Daisaku Ikeda, is presented at SUA’s seventh annual student festival. The committee intends for the song to unite Soka students and instill hope during challenging times.
Launching a Concentration in Environmental Studies
Soka’s fourth concentration requires students to take a multidisciplinary approach in solving the complex problem of how humans can sustainably live on the planet. It fulfills one of Soka’s founding principles to foster leaders for the creative coexistence of nature and humanity.
Celebrating 10th anniversary, Dedicating the Performing Arts Center
Hiromasa Ikeda, son of founder Daisaku Ikeda, is on hand to dedicate the new concert hall during Soka’s 10th anniversary in Aliso Viejo. He later is the featured speaker at the commencement of the Class of 2011.
The "Light of Hope"
Three years after the presentation of “On the Path of Peace,” Daisaku Ikeda composes a song in response, working with composer Wayne Green over a period of two months. “Light of Hope,” is presented to the students at the welcome reception for the incoming Class of 2015.
Soka Performing Arts Center Debuts
The Soka Performing Arts Center (PAC), featuring a 1,000-seat concert hall with acoustics designed by Yasuhisa Toyota, opens with a concert by Orange County’s Pacific Symphony. The PAC hosts SUA’s commencement ceremonies and internationally renowned speakers and performance artists.
Adding a French Language Program
This new program prepares students to study abroad in France or Senegal by building necessary skills such as reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and exploring social customs and traditions in French-speaking countries. It is the first program to give students a study abroad opportunity in Africa.
Wangari Maathai Hall and the Black Box Theatre Open
Wangari Maathai Hall, named for the renowned Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist, holds classrooms and faculty offices, while the Black Box Theatre hosts student performances and more intimate PAC events. Maathai Hall, the PAC, and the Black Box Theatre are the first LEED Gold-certified buildings on campus.
Sundays@Soka with Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra
The Performing Arts Center establishes an annual concert series with the Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra led by Maestro Carl St.Clair. Joined by a special guest artist, these intimate afternoons of exquisite music focus on one or two composers and their works.
A Jazz Festival at the Performing Arts Center
Founded in association with BluePort Jazz, the Jazz Festival brings together acclaimed jazz musicians to celebrate the uniquely American art form. It aims, in particular, to honor the ongoing surprise of musical innovation and lyrical expression embodied in the work of premier artists like Branford Marsalis.
Yo-Yo Ma Performance at the PAC
One of classical music’s most celebrated artists, Grammy Award-winning cellist and Kennedy Center honoree Yo-Yo Ma thrills a sold out audience at Soka Performing Arts Center, an appearance co-sponsored by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.
Commencement with Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock, legendary jazz pianist, composer and humanitarian, addresses the graduating Class of 2013, encouraging them to “be brave enough to break the rules and think outside the box.” Other commencement speakers have included Nobel Laureates, United Nations ambassadors, and renowned scholars.
New Master's Program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change
Six students are accepted to Soka Graduate School’s new master’s program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. A luncheon reception and lectures are held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Soka Graduate School and the start of the new program.
Dialogue on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence
Soka University of America hosts the first Dialogue on the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence at the Athenaeum, chaired by Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury. Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi diplomat and former UN under-secretary-general who was instrumental in the UN adopting the “Declaration and Programme of Action on the Culture of Peace.”
Class of '05 Returns for 10-Year Reunion
The undergraduate Class of 2005 holds its 10-year reunion, welcoming back 83 of 100 alumni in the class, along with many family members. As a class, they donate $20,000, pushing their total contributions to the school beyond $100,000 and earning a Founders Circle Plate. They also receive a message from Mr. Ikeda.
First World Summit of Educators
Education professionals from 32 countries gather for the World Summit of Educators, an event initiated and organized by the SUA graduate school classes of 2016 and 2017. It culminates in a celebration of “The Speech that Changed the World,” featuring keynote speaker Betty Reardon, director of the Peace Education Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and special guest Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury.
Running Like a Lion
The SUA Student Affairs department hosts the inaugural Heart of a Lion run-walk, kicking off a new campus tradition. The evening event—featurng a 5K run and 2.5K walk—is planned and managed by the athletic department.
"Not a Groundbreaking" Ceremony
Eighteen “young scientists” attend the ceremony for a new 90,000-square foot science building, representing future SUA students entering health fields. Other special guests include local government officials, SUA science faculty, and Soka Student Union officers.
First Annual Symposium on the Culture of Peace
The Student Movement for the Culture of Peace club hosts their inaugural symposium. The club is founded to create a “student-centered network” of global citizens to support the United Nations at the local level, with a focus on nuclear disarmament and sustainable development in order to contribute to creating a sustainable world.
Soka Athletics Stands for Inclusivity
Soka Athletics joins the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program as a founding member, and the first National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics institution, pledging its commitment to inclusion and providing a supportive and safe environment for LGBTQIA+ athletes, students, and community members.
Partnering with Claremont Graduate School
The partnership gives Soka students access to CGU’s accelerated degree programs in international studies, education/teaching credential, and business administration while completing their undergraduate work at Soka.
A PAC Partnership with the Philharmonic Society
Soka Performing Arts Center and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County strengthen their partnership with plans for a full philharmonic series and the expansion of the music Education Outreach Program that serves more than 4,000 children annually.
An Interstellar View
The Luis and Linda Nieves Observatory, named for longtime benefactors, features an advanced research-grade telescope that enables precision viewing of galaxies, nebulae, and other celestial bodies. The remote operating system can be used by researchers and students anywhere on earth.
Open Forum: Building a Community of Trust, Equity, and Inclusion
A community-wide meeting is held to provide administration, student, and faculty leaders a space to share concerns and hopes regarding the deficiencies that exist in student support services, curricular offerings, representation in staff and faculty, and racial bias training.
Students of Color Conference
Led by the Black Student Union and Students of Color Coalition, the conference is part of a larger movement on campus to hold the university accountable to its Black students and students of color, bring African and Ethnic Studies to campus, and hire full-time Black faculty, among other demands.
Complying with Coronavirus Directives
SUA announces a campus closure, in compliance with state and county health directives. Students return home and continue classes online for the rest of the term. Non-essential staff are asked to telecommute. International Festival, Commencement, and the remaining Performing Arts Center season are cancelled.
Inaugural SUA President Daniel Y. Habuki Retires
After 27 years, Daniel Habuki announces his retirement. During his time as president, he focused on academic excellence and care for each student’s development and happiness. Through his philanthropic efforts, Dr. Habuki also greatly expanded the university’s fiscal foundation.
Edward Feasel Named SUA's Second President
After serving in Daniel Habuki’s administration for more than 20 years, Edward Feasel is appointed the second president of Soka University of America. With the belief that leadership is always a position of service, Dr. Feasel shares that he is looking forward to serving the Soka community.
Edward Feasel's Announcement to the Community
Dr. Feasel announces the launch of the 20th anniversary project under the theme, “Soka Global Citizens: Embodying Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion;” the creation of the new SUA Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Human Rights; the establishment of the SUA Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and a new Trustee Professorship in Ikeda Studies.
Fall Semester Starts Online
Students start the Fall 2020 semester, which is conducted entirely online. Laptop computers are shipped to first-year students, who complete an online version of New Student Orientation led by student mentors, staff, and faculty.
Launching a Life Sciences Concentration
About 50 students officially begin Soka’s fifth concentration, Life Sciences, an interdisciplinary curriculum taught in the new Marie and Pierre Curie Hall. “Our students are going to be super well-prepared to go into a laboratory,” concentration director Susan Walsh says, “be that a graduate school laboratory, a government laboratory, biotech, or pharma, to do summer internships.”
Honoring an Exceptional Lion
The Athletics Department establishes the Thomas Wyatt Balman award in honor of Wyatt, a talented swimmer and friend to all who passed away on October 13. Wyatt is the first to receive the Lions’ highest honor; in subsequent years, it will be awarded to the student-athlete who exhibits the exceptional behavior, enthusiasm, positivity, and sportsmanship that Wyatt personified.
A Contributive Life Renewed
Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, father of Soka Education, identified a student-centered approach “as the universal hope for humankind.” Today, our university has more than 1,500 graduates, who are, as Daisaku Ikeda says, “a clear mirror of the true substance of a university.” It is only through the shared determination of faculty, staff, donors, and students that individual success and universal hope becomes possible.
Together, we are one community, resolute with the understanding that our pursuit of excellence is not merely a finite destination but, rather, a continuous process of revitalization and living lives of service to the world. We thank everyone for your many contributions and applaud your unrelenting efforts!
My goal for the future is to continue forging relationships with my Soka alumni family and to accomplish my dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur while encouraging people that face daunting professional, financial, and personal circumstances.
It gives me great satisfaction to think that my money may have helped some of the brightest and kindest students attend such a great place.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of so many people, including my family and community here and back home, my Pixar and PayPal mentors, and my Soka family. I am forever in your debt.
Meeting the students at Soka is one of the most beautiful memories of my life.
With the amount of craziness going on in the world right now, it’s my responsibility as a community member to go out there and put good in the world.
Soka Education is this grand challenge: to realize this most arduous quest for what we term ‘human revolution’ not only for oneself but for others, to better our respective societies and countries, to eventually transform even the destiny of all humanity.
Ms. Okabe determined to become a benefactor for Soka, as she did not have any surviving family or children of her own. She strongly wished to support SUA students as if they were her own children.
I believe we are living through such an age of crisis in which we have the opportunity to become pioneers of a better age.
Thanks to SUA’s humanistic understanding that everyone has something unique to offer, I was able to hone my strengths, which was the boost of confidence I needed in order to excel—so that in turn I can help people heal, one person at a time!
Besides the delightful bonds of friendship I have forged at Soka, the university motivated me to cultivate higher levels of confidence in both personal and professional spheres.
What students will remember is the connection they felt (or didn’t) throughout their school days. For some of them, it can become a turning point for their entire life.
SUA is committed to providing students with an educational opportunity that fosters love for humankind, develops character, provides an intellectual basis for the realization of peace, and empowers learners to contribute to and improve society.
Supporting Soka makes us feel hopeful for the future of our planet and the happiness of all people, regardless of race, religion, or country of origin.
No matter how difficult and uncertain the times become, we can always go back to our starting point, our ideals, our home.
Being a global citizen means recognizing the intersectionality of our world, and never assuming that our worldview is the only one to herald. There are more than just countries and cultures in this world—there are people and hearts and lives, and we have to learn from them.
I love that Soka is a liberal arts college, with a passion in motivating a diverse group of students from all four corners of the world.
Soka’s mission statement helps me be better. It reminds me this education, which I am so grateful to receive, is a tool I can use, not only to benefit myself but the nature and people around me.
As an alumni of SUA, a citizen in my community, and a member of the human race, I have to take responsibility wherever I go, wherever I am, whether it’s because I want to see change in my community for the better, or if it means supporting my community leaders to the best of my ability.
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