University of Southern California

Office of Religious Life

Fostering a vibrant university community of spiritual reflection and free inquiry

Programs & Events

What Matters to Me and Why

Ralph Fertig, Clinical Associate Professor at the USC School of Social Work, speaks at the November WWMW program in 2009.

"What Matters to Me and Why" represents a creative solution to an important and often unrecognized problem in the university setting: the separation of intellectual life from personal and spiritual issue. For some time, students have been asking for more informal contact with faculty. They have expressed their desire to encounter faculty and administrators as rounded human beings, professional models, and mentors. The people who shape USC, who teach students the ways of their particular disciplines, and who help them develop marketable skills also have a great deal to pass on in terms of worldly wisdom, moral guidance, and sources of spiritual strength.

At each WMMW session, the featured guest spends about twenty minutes addressing the topic "What Matters to Me and Why," and then the floor is opened to informal dialogue for the remainder of the hour. Just as there is no one way to address the topic, so there will be no one direction in which dialogue will proceed. The student contact from the WMMW committee introduces the speaker and makes sure that the session goes forward in a professional yet friendly manner. An indirect purpose of WMMW is to maintain an arena in which people can talk about important, personally charged questions in an open, mutually respectful way.

Since WMMW takes place at the noon hour and since even busy people need to eat, a light lunch will be provided throughout the series.

The program seeks to involve all members of the USC community and the Trojan Family. Not just students, but also faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and neighborhood residents are encouraged to attend. Bringing together these diverse USC constituencies forms another indirect purpose of the series.

Sponsored by the Office of Religious Life and the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics.

USC Office of Religious Life

University Park Campus
University Religious Center, Rm 106
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Health Sciences Campus
McKibben Hall, Rm 160
Los Angeles, CA 90033

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