Soka's online Peace Gala 2020


These are the hallmarks of our 20 years of educating global citizens. 

Please join us for Soka’s first online Peace Gala. Your participation will fund student scholarships. This is an opportunity to invite anyone you want to learn more about Soka University at no cost to them or you.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

5 to 6 p.m. PST


Paul Williams

Master of Ceremonies

DawnMarie Kotsonis

Silent Auction

Online beginning Friday, October 2, at noon
Ends Saturday, October 10, at midnight

Cost to Attend

$0, but donations are gratefully accepted

Paul Williams

Gala Entertainment: Paul Williams

Paul Williams is one of the most beloved and respected music creators in the world today. A lyricist and composer who has won an Oscar Award, three Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, an Ivor Novello International Award, and earned induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His songs, from “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “You and Me Against the World” to “An Old Fashioned Love Song” and “The Rainbow Connection,” have touched millions of people for generations. As President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), he is also a leading spokesperson for music creators in the digital age.

To Join the Celebration

  1. Register online. Two weeks before the Peace Gala we will contact you (either via email or traditional USPS) with instructions on how to join the Peace Gala.
  2. Beginning October 1, register with your credit card at the gala website to bid on silent auction items and/or donate online during the event. Live help available via telephone on October 10 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. PST. (Phone number will be provided along with instructions for watching the Peace Gala following registration)

Your support is appreciated even if you are unable to attend the live event. If you prefer, donate in advance and simply enjoy the program.

Peace Gala invitation with flower

More information

Please contact the Office of Development at 949-480-4072 or Linda Kennedy at

1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Tax ID: 95-3909672

View printable invitation

Donate Items for Silent Auction

Celebrating 20 Years of Soka Education

Daisaku Ikeda, the founder of Soka University of America, stated in an address at Teachers College, Columbia University, on June 13, 1996:

“I think I can state with confidence that the following are essential elements of global citizenship:

  • The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life and living.
  • The courage not to fear or deny difference, but to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures, and to grow from encounters with them.
  • The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends to those suffering in distant places.”

Soka University of America started with a bold ideal to make the world smarter. More compassionate, peaceful, and sustainable. It envisioned a campus that produces global citizens imbued with wisdom, courage and compassion.

Twenty years on, our vision has come to fruition.

We improve the world with every graduate because we admit top students from around the world who share our ideals, regardless of their ability to pay. Then we challenge them intellectually.  Send them abroad. Provide them with a global campus community where they discover who they are. The result is a lived wisdom, a unique perspective, a well of knowledge that few universities can match.

One hundred percent of our students receive financial aid. We could not offer this if not for generous souls like you who support our vision of peace: Soka graduates. We are deeply grateful for your gifts that allow us to continue turning our bold ideals into courageous global citizens using their wisdom to compassionately improve society.

Celebrating a Vision of Peace Sponsors

Arch and Paige Asawa Asia Alternatives Management
Matilda Buck Max and Alexis Byfuglin
Chris Chen Jenny Chen
Andy Cheong, Joyce Cheong & Teresa Fu Dave Colebank & Miki Singer
Teiko Cooper George and Kazue Elliot
Facility Services Partners LLC Richard and Misty Fisher
Daniel and Hiroko Habuki Kyoko Kraft
Maple Lee & Dennis Liu Steve Chi Kong Lee & Judy Chao Di Chow
MUFG Union Bank, N.A. In Memory of Tomoko and Louis Negron
Joe and Junko Perez Jim and Sheila Peterson
Gloria Richardson-Davis Sequoia Environmental Services
SGI-USA In Memory of Ann Orlando Shankar
South Coast Plaza Sayoko Tenny
Joyce An Thomas Herbert Thomson and Harumi Shimamoto
Olive Wang Emiko Yamagishi
Masayo Yoshida  

2020 Gala Committee

Event Co-Chairs: Joan May, Chair & Misty Fisher, Honorary Chair

Arch Asawa Teresa Fu Diane Pritchett
Norah Broillet Debra Gunn-Downing Coleen Scherf-Ghara
Matilda Buck Eileen Hayden Dita Shemke
Chris Chen Cloey Hewlett Harumi Shimamoto
Gerald Chew Mahtab Jafari Carolina Shorter
Judy Chow Mary Patrick Kavanaugh Miki Singer
Grace Christianson Linda Kennedy Dinia Takacs
Dana Collins John Marzullo Megumi Tanaka
Bethany Colman Nicky Mimuro Emiko Yamagishi
Kathy Crilly Terry Mitchell Masayo Yoshida
Clarissa Douglass Sheila Peterson