Why Support the Peace Gala?

About Soka University of America:

Soka = creating value

Soka University is a private, non-profit, four-year liberal arts college and graduate school located on 103-acres in south Orange County, California in the City of Aliso Viejo. SUA is just one mile from the beach (if you are a bird – seven miles driving) and located in the heart of Southern California’s abundance of cultural, educational, sporting and adventure opportunities.

Campus 1Campus 4

SUA offers generous financial aid to both US and International students, with free tuition available to eligible admitted students whose earned family income is $60,000 or less (room and board fees still apply.) These financial aid packages are made possible through generous support from donors like you! In order to ensure that no qualified student is denied education due to financial hardships, we need your support. (Learn more about Soka University.)

The Mission:

The mission of Soka University is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life.

The Curriculum:

SUA offers a 8:1 student/faculty ratio (average class size 12) and study abroad is included in tuition so that every undergraduate spends a semester in their junior year living and learning another culture. Proudly founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life, SUA offers a non-sectarian curriculum that is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs.

The Students:

Approximately 60% of our students come from the US and about 40% have come from more than 40 other countries.

Campus 2Campus 5

A student-focused campus, Soka University promotes and supports the well-being and growth of each student.

About Soka University of America's Peace Gala: Celebrating a Vision of Peace

What the magical night consists of:

See how the Recreation Center is decorated for the Gala (or click on any of the three photos below!)

Gala 2017 Interior Gala interior 1 Gala Interior 3

Silent Auction 

Starting with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, you will be able to bid on great items! Some of the past items have included: Baccarat champagne flukes, Disneyland theme park tickets, sports memorabilia, spa packages, travel packages, wines and sumptuous gift baskets for every taste!

Silent Auction 1 Silent Auction 2 Silent Auction 3

Student Welcome at Peace Walk Students, some in their traditional dress, thanked Gala guests last year as they walked from the silent auction/cocktail party to the main event in the beautifully decorated Recreation Center.

Peace Walk 3 Peace Walk 1 Peace Walk 2

Student Presentations - each year our talented students welcome guests and thank them in unique ways! 

Student Performance 3 Student Performance Gala 2017 Taiko

Vasko Yorgov (Soka Class
of 2019) shared his journey
 to SUA at the 2017 Peace Gala.

Anna Casals (Soka Class
of 2018) shared her journey
 to SUA at the 2016 Peace Gala.

Josho Daiko SUA Taiko Drummers
perform outside the Rec Center.

Live Auction!!

One of the most exciting parts of the evening is our live auction. Some of the past items have included: Eric Clapton autographed guitar, limited edition helmet autographed by 25 Super Bowl MVP's, $5,000 South Coast Plaza shopping spree, cars, and a 4.81ct Diamond.

Gala 2017 Live Auction Guitar Gala 2017 DawnMarie Live Auction 3

 During the live auction, a student displays a guitar autographed by
 Eric Clapton.

Live Auctioneer DawnMarie Kostnosis
on stage with Master of Ceremonies Fritz Coleman.

Generous guests raising their bid numbers to donate to the Fund-A-Need!

2019 Entertainment - Keiko Matsui

Acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian, Keiko Matsui, is one of the most dynamic and important voices in instrumental music. Her sonic cultural exchange has reached the hearts and minds of fans throughout the world. "I would like my music to be a conduit for peace, kindness, love and light," shares the pianist. Keiko Matsui took her first piano lesson at five and she made her US recording debut in 1987 with the recording A Drop of Water. In February 2019, Keiko released Echo, her 28th recording and most inspired work yet. Throughout her career, Keiko creates and lends her music to raise awareness for many humanitarian organizations.

 Keiko Matsui

2019 Master of Ceremonies - Kurt Knutsson

Kurt Knutsson has a deep love of technology that makes life better. Best known as "Kurt the CyberGuy", Kurt Knutsson created the largest syndicated tech lifestyle franchise on television. As a trusted source, Kurt's unique insider access to major tech launches and industry visionaries has helped earn him two Emmy Awards and a Golden Mic. Kurt is the chief tech contributor on Fox News and Fox Business networks, beginning his mornings on Fox & Friends. Like many entrepreneurs, Kurt wears several hats including running a private investment fund, giving inspirational talks, mentoring start-up companies and traveling the world chasing down the next breakthrough.

 Kurt Knutsson

2018 Entertainment - Clark Beckham

 Clark Beckham

2018 Master of Ceremonies - Mike Sakellarides

Mike Sakellarides

Past Celebrities

Gala has been supported by famous celebrities who have emceed and performed live!

Herbie Hancock Duncan Sheik Celebrity 7
Herbie Hancock

Duncan Sheik 

Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter
Ron Glass Nestor Torres Celebrity 5
Ron Glass Nestor Torres Howard Jones
Paul Williams Judy Collins Esperanza Spalding
Paul Williams Judy Collins Esperanza Spalding
Ivan Rutherford David Burnham Jose Feliciano
Ivan Rutherford David Burnham

Jose Feliciano

Chris Mann
Chris Mann

Why donate? For our future!

If you cannot attend the event, you can still support by making a donation!

View the 2019 Sponsorship brochure here.

Purchase tickets, become a sponsor or submit an item for the auction! 

2012 Peace Gala