Memorable Speeches

On May 24, 2019, SUA held its Commencement Ceremony for the undergraduate and graduate Class of 2019.  We were honored to welcome this year's keynote speaker, Ms. Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist, trained social worker, and women’s rights advocate who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.  On this occasion, the university founder, Mr. Daisaku Ikeda, sent a special message to the Class of 2019.  Read the 2019 Commencement Message from SUA Founder Daisaku Ikeda (May 24, 2019).  

Other memorable speeches include:

  • 2018 Commencement Address by Ms. Susi Snyder, Nuclear Disarmament Programme Manager for the Netherlands-based peace organization PAX and a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
  • 2017 Commencement Address by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Co-Director of the doctoral program in Positive Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate School
  • 2016 Commencement Address by Dr. Oscar AriasNobel Peace Laureate and former President of Costa Rica (May 27, 2016)
  • 2015 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Ms. Jody Williams, Nobel Prize Laureate and human rights activist (May 22, 2015)
  • 2014 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Laureate in economics and Professor of Economics at Harvard University (May 23, 2014)
  • 2013 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Mr. Herbie Hancock, legendary jazz pianist, composer and humanitarian (May 24, 2013)
  • 2012 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Professor Nur Yalman, a renowned Social Anthropologist with a specialty in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University and Senior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts (May 25, 2012)
  • 2011 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Mr. Hiromasa Ikeda, the eldest son of our university founder and a member of the Board of Trustees for Soka University in Japan (May 27, 2011)
  • 2010 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Dr. Paulette Bethel,  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas to the United Nations and a member of the Board of Trustees of Soka University of America (May 28, 2010)
  • 2009 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Ms. Clothilde Hewlett, partner of Nossaman LLP and a member of the Board of Trustees of Soka University of America (May 29, 2009)
  • 2008 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Dr. Ved P. Nanda, Vice Provost for Internationalization and Director of the International Legal Studies Program at the University of Denver (May 23, 2008)
  • "Peace Is Everybody's Business" by  Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams, SUA's first Distinguished Visiting Scholar, delivered on September 20, 2007, to 1200 local high school students and the entire SUA community in Soka University's Recreation Center
  • 2007 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Carolyn McAskie, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support (May 27, 2007)
  • 2006 Undergraduate Commencement Address by Dr. David Roselle, President of the University of Delaware (May 21, 2006)
  • 2005 Undergraduate Commencement Address by  Anwarul K. Chowdhury, then Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the United Nations Office of the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (May 22, 2005)
  • What Kind of Peace Do We Seek? by Dr. Michael Nobel (April 9, 2002)
  • A Lecture by Arun Gandhi following the dedication of Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi Hall (August 23, 2001)
  • Growing Up Into Democracy's Crown by Lawrence Edward Carter, Sr, PhD, Dean, Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia (May 4, 2001). Dean Carter was also a guest speaker at the May 3, 2001  dedication of the Aliso Viejo campus

Also, see special messages from SUA Founder Daisaku Ikeda on these occasions: