The Joy of Learning by Chieko Sato GS '98

My parents immigrated to Canada from Japan shortly after I was born.  As a child, I often heard stories about their lives during and after wartime Japan. B29s, dislocation, hunger.  And how they had not been able to receive the education they had yearned for due to the devastation of war.  I inherited all of their stories and their thirst for learning.  They are the greatest gifts my parents have given me, and have formed the foundation of who I am.

Happily, mystically, my life’s course led me to SUA Graduate School in 1997.  I think there is awesome freedom that comes from learning.  My spirit soared inside the small classrooms on our dear Calabasas campus.  The experience was really too much more than I had expected, and I am only sorry that I could not take full advantage of all that everyone and everything there had to offer.  

Still, my grad school experience was like no other I have ever had.  Never have I felt so genuinely welcome, valued, and absolutely free to selfishly immerse myself in the joy of learning.  SUA is my heart’s sanctuary.  The unforgettable faces and voices of teachers and classmates, the sound of bells and basketballs, sunshine, morning fog, the smell of eucalyptus trees during nightly bicycle runs.  SUA is an eternal source of smiles and hope which inspires me to reach deeper and higher in life.  

I am so proud and full of gratitude to be a member of the SUA community.  I pledge to create value as I strive to fulfill my role as a mother, teacher, and world citizen, spreading the joy of living that I learned and continue to learn from my dear friends and mentors. 

Chieko Sato
Class of 1998
SUA Graduate School