Daniel Y. Habuki, Inaugural President of Soka University, Announces Retirement

June 15, 2020
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Image of Danny Habuki

Dear Members of the SUA Community,

Dr. Daniel Y. Habuki has informed me that he will be retiring this summer due to health reasons, after completing his 27th year of service as the inaugural President of Soka University of America. President Habuki will continue in his role until the next president is appointed.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to express our deepest appreciation to Danny for his years of dedication, sacrifice and service toward the growth and development of our university. Under his unprecedented leadership, SUA has grown tremendously and flourished, from a small graduate program in the 1990s to one of the top 30 liberal arts colleges in the country.

With his focus on academic excellence and care for each student’s development and happiness, Danny insured that every student received the best education possible, as he encouraged a culture of care across the campus. With many of our SUA graduates being accepted into the top graduate schools and programs throughout the country and the world and advancing in their careers and professions, it is clear that his approach fostered the right environment for their growth and success. Danny established the Soka Opportunity Scholarship program to make Soka education available to students of limited means around the world.

Through his tireless philanthropic efforts, Danny greatly expanded the university’s fiscal and campus foundation. SUA’s endowment has grown fivefold since its inception. The original campus was built and has been further transformed with construction of a world class performing arts center, academic building, additional residence halls, and now the completion of a new state-of-the-art life science building—the Marie and Pierre Curie Hall.

Danny shared that “none of this would have been possible without the tremendous vision, founding principles and support by our university founder, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, to whom I have dedicated my life’s work. I am deeply humbled and filled with appreciation to have had this opportunity to serve and to be surrounded by such dedicated staff, faculty and students. And I especially want to express my appreciation to our alumni, the treasures of SUA, who are living our mission as global citizens and leaders each day in making the world a better place.”

The board will be meeting over the next few weeks to plan the leadership transition. In the meantime, I speak for the entire board in expressing our most heartfelt and profound gratitude to Danny for his tremendous contributions to SUA and leadership over the years.


Stephen Dunham
Chair, Soka University of America Board of Trustees

Note: This message was delivered to the Soka community via email on Monday, June 15, 2020.