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August 17, 2021

Founder Dedicates Messages to Soka Universities

Soka University Central Tower
The Light of Learning Tower (left, foreground) stands in front of the Central Tower on the Japanese campus in Hachioji, Tokyo

Daisaku Ikeda recently dedicated messages to students participating in the Summer School at Soka University in Japan and newly-enrolled students at Soka University of America (SUA), institutions of which he is the founder.

The Summer School kicked off this year on August 9 with 6,800 participants online. University officials published video greetings to the students, which included Mr. Ikeda’s message. In it, he stated, “There is no limit to human wisdom. The more one courageously develops oneself, the brighter the light of learning will shine to illuminate our society mired in the darkness of turmoil and confusion.”

Making education accessible to all is central to the ethos of Soka University. In 1976, five years after the university’s founding, it instituted correspondence learning, which, to date, has produced over 20,000 graduates from around the world.

Commemorative reception for 2021 incoming students at the Soka University of America
Soka Student Union President Yuka Hombo welcomes new incoming students to the SUA campus at a commemorative reception held at the Soka Performing Arts Center (© Seikyo Shimbun)

On August 10, Soka University of America held a commemorative reception to welcome the class of 2025. Students returned to the campus in Aliso Viejo, California, for the first time in 18 months after classes moved online in March 2020. The availability of the COVID vaccination has allowed for the resumption of in-person classes from this semester.

The 134 students from 25 countries and territories were those entering the university’s undergraduate program as well as those of the 8th graduating class of the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Societal Change program.

At the reception, three representative students shared their hopes and determinations for their academic endeavors. In his message, speaking of the power of dialogue to create value and strengthen solidarity, Mr. Ikeda encouraged students to “engage in mutually enriching dialogue with your friends and instructors at SUA . . . drawing invaluable lessons from their diverse values and perspectives as you hone genuine wisdom and build character ever further.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the university’s founding.

 [Adapted from articles in the August 11 and 17, 2021, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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