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Université Laval, Montreal, Canada
May 4, 2010--Honorary Doctorate of Education

Dr. Denis Brière, Rector

Daisaku Ikeda is a Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder, author, poet and photographer.

Inspired by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s educational ideas, [Daisaku] Ikeda founded the Soka schools, a school system ranging from kindergarten to graduate studies, that is based on a pedagogy of peace. This accomplishment is a clear expression of Dr. Ikeda’s conviction that education is the most important undertaking for humanity.

Soka education is based on respect for human dignity. It aims to foster each student's unique creative potential in order to become a wise person who is able to contribute to the construction of a peaceful world. These principles are closely akin to the ideals of nonviolence put forth by Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. Soka education also aims to develop individuals with an open mind toward the world, society and its environment.

For more than forty years, Dr. Ikeda has worked hard to promote education for global citizenship. He deeply believes that the conscience of global society can change only through education. The Soka universities founded by Dr. Ikeda provide instruction for the acceptance and comprehension of different values and cultures. They promote the central value of his thought, which is: I am human and nothing of what is human is alien . . .

For Dr. Ikeda, people with their own unique personalities, characteristics and differences can meet and understand each other through dialogue. And it is also through dialogue that people and nations can better manage conflict and work together for the construction of a peaceful world.

To that effect, I wish to mention that Université Laval’s Faculty of Educational Sciences is developing a specialized graduate program in global citizenship. Several principles of Soka education inspire our approach. One interesting initiative worth considering is to begin exchanges between the students and professors of Soka University in Tokyo, Soka University of America in California, USA, and Université Laval’s Faculty of Educational Sciences in Quebec, Canada . . .

For his entire body of work, and more particularly for his exceptional contribution to the field of education, I have, on behalf of Université Laval, the pleasure and honour to present Dr. Daisaku Ikeda with the Degree of Doctor of Education, Honoris Causa.

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