Image of students throwing graduation caps.

2024 Commencement Ceremony

Watch the 2024 Commencement Ceremony Replay

"Congratulations Class of 2024" overlayed on an aerial shot of SUA's campus at night


Stephen Dunham

Keynote Speaker: Stephen S. Dunham

Stephen S. Dunham, a Board of Trustees Chair at Soka University of America, delivered the commencement address for the 2024 commencement ceremony.

Read 2024 Commencement Address    Learn more about Stephen


Dear Class of 2024,

I want to congratulate you and all your loved ones on behalf of the entire Soka University of America community as you approach your graduation in May. We are continuously inspired by your resilience and strength as demonstrated through your academic journey during a period of profound global change. Though recent years have presented unique challenges from the pandemic to social unrest, you have persevered with courage, compassion, and wisdom and have emerged victorious in achieving this important milestone in your life. I want to share my pride and appreciation to you, our graduating students who continue to contribute to Soka University’s mission of fostering global citizenship based on the ideals set forth by our university founder Daisaku Ikeda.

This year, we will honor the academic achievements of the undergraduate students completing their bachelor’s degree program in Liberal Arts and graduate students completing their master’s degree program in Educational Leadership and Societal Change. As we look toward May, we would like to provide you with this Commencement Guide to inform you of the activities that will take place with the hope that it will provide ample time for you and your families to plan for a memorable week.

We eagerly anticipate celebrating this occasion together with you, your family, and friends.

Edward M. Feasel, Ph.D.

Commencement Details

Date: Friday, May 24, 2024
Time: 2 pm
Location: Soka Performing Arts Center

  • Ticket is required to enter the Performing Arts Center.
  • Performing Arts Center lobby doors will open at 12:30 pm. 
  • Doors to the center will open at 1 pm for seating.
  • No drinks or food are allowed inside the Performing Arts Center.
  • Campus is closed to the public.
  • Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony outside of the Performing Arts Center. In case of rain, refreshments will be served in Founders Hall.

Graduating students will not receive the actual diploma at the Commencement Ceremony. They will only receive their diploma cover. For Undergraduate students, once a final degree check has been completed, the diploma will be printed and mailed. Students should be sure to update their home/mailing address information in Learning Solutions before they leave. Graduate students will receive their diploma after the ceremony.

Guest admission to the Commencement Ceremony is by ticket only. Other than graduating students, no other members of the SUA community can request tickets for their guests.

All guests must be seated by 1:45 pm. Any open seats after 1:45 pm may be filled by other guests.

  • Guests of Graduating Students
    All guest tickets and special accommodations must be requested by the graduating student through the Commencement Ticket Request Survey. Graduating students may request up to a maximum of five (5) tickets for their guests (The graduate does not need a ticket for admission). Any special seating request such as wheelchair access or seating for children under the age of five must be made at the time of ticket request.

Accessing Tickets:

  • All tickets are emailed, and guests are strongly encouraged to access their tickets in advance. If the email address of a guest was not indicated in the Ticket Request Survey, the tickets were emailed to the graduating student.
  • Please CLICK HERE  for instructions on how to access tickets and display ticket barcodes (printed or digital) required for venue entry.
  • Any name changes must be made in advance by the graduating student and not by a member of their party.
  • Some tickets may indicate restrictions such as partially obstructed view or wheelchair space/companion seat. Please be assured that all seats will have varying, but adequate sightlines and padded chairs placed in any unused wheelchair spaces.
  • Any student or guest who is not able to access tickets under their name in advance may pick them up at the Soka Performing Arts Center Box Office (located to the left of the main lobby entrance) during the specific Will Call hours listed below. 

Box Office Will Call Hours:

  • Monday, May 20, 10 am - 2 pm
  • Tuesday, May 21, 10 am - 2 pm
  • Wednesday, May 22, 10 am - 2 pm
  • Thursday, May 23 – NO TICKET PICK UP
  • Friday, May 24, 10 am - 2 pm
  • Additional information for pick up:

    • Please make sure to bring a photo ID that corresponds to the name assigned to the ticket. No tickets will be distributed without a matching photo ID.
    • Ticket pick up is for tickets that cannot be distributed in advance.
    • Please allow up to 30 minutes for pick up.
    • Seats cannot be changed.
    • No new tickets will be assigned at pick up.

If you have already requested tickets through the appropriate parties, please contact for any questions.

  • Special Requests
    Any special seating request such as wheelchair access or seating for children under the age of five must be made at the time of ticket request by the graduating student.
  • Family-Friendly Seating
    For younger guests who will not be comfortable sitting through a two-hour ceremony, family-friendly seating is offered in the Black Box Theatre for live-stream viewing. Food and drinks are permitted in the Black Box Theatre. Tickets are not necessary to enter the Black Box Theatre, so guests who choose to view the entire ceremony in the Black Box Theatre should inform their graduating student. Allotted Commencement tickets are only for guests who will be seated in the Performing Arts Center.
  • Underclass Students, Adjunct/Visiting Faculty, and Staff
    Those wishing to attend can request one (1) ticket for themselves. Directions on how to request the ticket is forthcoming. Due to limited seating, there may be a lottery if the total number of requests exceeds the allotted seat number.
  • Alumni
    Alumni should make their ticket request to Sohokai Alumni Association or Soseikai Graduate School Alumni Association.

Commencement Week Activities

Event Time Location
Appreciation Reception
This is a special night for undergraduate students to thank their parents or off-campus guest for all their support and to share what they have learned while at Soka. The event will include a program hosted by the graduating class followed by a light reception (NOT a dinner reception). This is a ticketed event. Each graduating student will receive two tickets for their guests from the Registrar’s Office. 
Thursday, May 23
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Black Box Theatre
Sohokai Undergraduate Annual Alumni Meeting
New alumni members of the Class of 2024 are invited to attend the Sohokai Undergraduate Annual Alumni Meeting. This event is for alumni and their guests only. Alumni must RSVP to Sohokai at
Saturday, May 25
5:00 - 6:00 pm
Soka Performing Arts Center

Follow this link to view Sohokai’s schedule of events.

Event Time Location
Graduate School Soseikai Alumni Luncheon
This is a special luncheon sponsored by the Graduate School Soseikai Alumni for the graduating graduate students.
Friday, May 24, 2024
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Ikeda 104-D (Graduate School Office Lounge)
Graduate School Friends & Family Reception
This is a special reception to honor the graduating graduate students, their friends, and family (Number of guests per graduate will be TBC).
Friday, May 24, 2024
5:00 - 7:30 pm
2nd Floor Founders Hall Art Gallery

Campus Tours
Campus tours will be provided for friends and families of the graduates who will be visiting the university during Commencement Week. The tour will begin at Founder Hall 1st Floor Atrium.

Date: Thursday, May 23
Place: Founders Hall 1st Floor Atrium
Time: 10:00 am and 1:30 pm

Date: Friday, May 24
Place: Founders Hall 1st Floor Atrium
Time: 10:00 am

Soka Heritage Hall Tours
Date: Tuesday, May 21 & Thursday, May 23
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Date: Friday, May 24
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Bookstore Hours During Commencement Week
Monday - Wednesday: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday - Friday: 10:30 am – 6:30 pm

Discounted Meal Tickets
Students may purchase discounted meal tickets for guests from Dining Services for $50. Each packet contains 5 meal tickets which can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Hotel Accommodations
There are no lodging accommodations on campus. However, family and guests can find nearby hotel information on the Soka website:

Parking is available on campus and maps of parking lots will be provided at the Main Gate by the Security upon request.

The Office of Development will be accepting donations at the following times and locations on Commencement Day:

9:30 am – 12:00 pm Founders Hall 1st Floor
12:30 pm – 5:00 pm On the Patio of the Soka Performing Arts Center

If you are on campus prior to Commencement Day and would like to make a donation, please go to the Founders Hall 1st Floor reception desk and ask for a representative from the Office of Development. We accept donations in cash, credit card, and checks. You can also make donations online at

Thank you for your generosity.

Community Relations (949) 480-4081
Development - Domestic Donors (949) 480-4072
Development - International Donors (949) 480-4021
Financial Aid (949) 480-4048
Health Services (949) 480-4143
Office of Dean of Faculty (949) 480-4271
Office of Dean of Students (949) 480-4172
Office of the President (949) 480-4008
Registrar (949) 480-4045
Residential Life (949) 480-4149
Security (949) 480-4100
Student Accounts (949) 480-4129
Student Services (949) 480-4018
Soka Performing Arts Center (949) 480-4278