SUA Board of Trustees Chair Stephen Dunham Announced as 2024 Commencement Speaker

April 22, 2024
Headshot of Board of Trustees Chair Stephen Dunham

Soka University of America announced Board of Trustees Chair Stephen Dunham as keynote speaker of the 2024 commencement ceremony, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 24 in the Soka Performing Arts Center.

Dunham has been involved in the establishment of SUA since 1992 and has been a trustee since the Aliso Viejo campus opened in May 2001.

“We are excited to welcome Stephen Dunham as our 2024 commencement speaker,” SUA President Edward M. Feasel said. “Dunham’s distinguished career in law and academia, alongside his pioneering role in helping to lay the foundations of SUA, afford him a deep understanding of our university’s founding philosophy. His life’s work embodies the essential elements of global citizenship—wisdom, courage, and compassion—serving as inspiration for the next generation of leaders who will emerge from SUA.”

Dunham graduated from Yale Law School in 1969 and began his career as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Stanley A. Weigel in San Francisco. Dunham is a member of the California and Colorado bars (inactive) and the Maryland bar. He also later worked extensively in academia, serving as a law professor at the UC Davis School of Law and teaching in Taiwan.

Dunham has held many leadership roles throughout his career, including serving as chairperson at the international law firm Morrison & Foerster. He also contributed his expertise as a member of the board of directors for organizations such as the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the American Judicature Society. Prior to his tenure at Pennsylvania State University, where he retired in 2023 as vice president and general counsel, he held similar positions at the University of Minnesota and Johns Hopkins University.