Mrs. 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.
Since the opening of Soka University of America in 2001, many people around the world have made generous contributions. There are over 8,000 donor plates on campus, and each plate holds precious memories, histories, hopes, and dreams of our donors. They include those who want to support fostering youth who will create a better society and others who did not have a chance to receive a college education and wish SUA students to accomplish it for them. Some have lost family and friends and wish to honor their lives.
Our donors have various backgrounds. Some donors made donations by overcoming various hardships and achieving success in society, while others make consistent monthly/annual donations and sincerely support SUA. There are also donors that have contributed their retirement funds or inheritance.
Yoshiko Okabe is one those donors. In November, 2017, Ms. Okabe, who had been battling cancer for years, learned about the opportunity to donate to SUA from two friends who are SUA donors. After learning more, 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.
At the hospital, she requested home hospice care so that she could be home. After receiving approval, she immediately went to the bank with the support of her friends and made a donation to SUA on November 28, 2017. University founder, Daisaku Ikeda, received a letter from her about the donation and immediately sent a message of appreciation.
Ms. Okabe was looking forward to having her donor plate installed at Founders Hall. SUA made a special arrangement to have her plate installed on December 21, 2017, and quickly shipped her plate photo and certificate to her residence in Japan. When Ms. Okabe received the shipment on December 26, she’d returned to the hospital for her final care and support. She looked at her plate photo and smiled.
On January 1, 2018, almost one month after she made her donation to SUA, she peacefully passed away. According to her friends, she often shared that she visited SUA many times in her dreams.