IBS Celebrates 2024 Commencement

Gesshin Claire Greenwood  |  May 21, 2024

On Friday, May 17, 2024, faculty, students, trustees, and friends of the Institute of Buddhist Studies gathered to celebrate the graduating class of 2024. Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst delivered the commencement address, focusing on how Buddhist principles intersect with academic learning.

This was the largest graduating class in the history of IBS. Dean Scott Mitchell noted how when he graduated IBS, there were only two other students graduating. The Kodo was packed with students, families and friends, and the celebratory energy was palpable. Cheers erupted when Dr. Mitchell read the names and degrees of graduating students.

Following Kinst’s commencement address and a brief speech by GTU Dean Dr. Jennifer Davidson, Dean Scott Mitchell acknowledged the 2024 graduates, and conferred degrees and certificates to the following students:

2024 Degree Graduates

Ryūki Tom Hawkins, Master of Divinity

Josefina McAuliffe-Rocha, Master of Divinity

Vincent Moore, Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies

Hakushō Johan Ostlund, Master of Divinity,

David R. Pating, Master of Divinity

Yu-Ting Wang (Miao Jie), GTU Master of Arts

Landon Yamaoka, Master of Divinity

2024 Certificate in Buddhist Studies

Anthony W. Baker

Dante Kapea Hirata Epstein

Joshua Morris

Edward Alan Sobenes

Michael Dean Taylor

2024 Certificate in Shin Buddhist Studies

David Black

York Sterling Aragorn Davenport

Roland Ikuta

Laverne Shidou Imori

Igor Makasuk

Stacy Reardon

Maiko Joanne Tanaka

Marie Yamashita

Tsutomu T. Yamashita

2024 Certificate in Soto Zen Buddhist Studies

Inoshi Denisen

Lorenzo Garbo

Amanda Kairys

Vincent Moore

Brian M. Pilgrim

Dennis Christopher Sarni

2024 Degree Graduates

Certificate in Soto Zen Buddhist Studies Graduates

Following the ceremony, attendees gathered in the lobby for a reception, as well as in the newly opened Jodo Shinshu Center Community Room (formerly the bookstore).