Bruce Zuckerman

Bruce E. Zuckerman

December 6, 2001

Education, family, keys to great life
By John Tan
USC Daily Trojan Contributing Writer

Event: Religion professor places emphasis on kids, teaching for satisfaction

Family and education matter most to Bruce Zuckerman, religion professor and director of the archaeological research collection, who presented Wednesday during the final address of this semester’s “What Matters to Me and Why” program.

“My family, which includes my wife and three children, is no small accomplishment,” he said to a group of 50 students and faculty members on the Doheny Library rotunda. He described his “three presentable children” as “turning out all right,” as an accomplishment of his personal philosophy on family. “If you are going to be a husband and a parent, you need to do it right,” he said. “If work gets in the way of family, then work must take second priority.” As of March, Zuckerman and his wife have been married for 28 years.

Zuckerman recounted his experience being hired for his position in the men’s restroom in the basement of Taper Hall of Humanities. Teaching is taken far too much for granted, he said. “The hardest thing for me is to do what I’m doing right now, speaking in front of you,” he said. “It’s still daunting and uncomfortable, and generally quite frightening.” The university itself has left a mark on Zuckerman, who expressed that over the years “the trajectory of the career I’ve carved out could not have happened anywhere else.” Comparing his time at USC with his experiences at Ivy League institutions, Zuckerman said, “USC has a disinclination to say ´┐Żno'” when approached with project ideas.

Zuckerman’s one concern about USC is that the university needs to “cultivate a better sense of self-confidence,” citing the increasing attention paid to rankings and test scores as signs of a lack of pride. “We need to make decisions because they’re right and not based on a rating, which is probably rigged anyway,” he said. Dealing with archaeology, he joked that he “has seen the basements of the best museums in the world.”

Copyright 2001 by the Daily Trojan. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Vol. 144, No. 67 (Thursday, December 6, 2001), beginning on page 1 and ending on page 6.