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A Transcendent Life

We humans are prone to think in terms of opposites. Light and dark. High and low. Hot and cold. Each seemingly battles the other.

A photo of Dean Amber Miller

But when we take a closer look, we see that these opposed pairs are, in fact, merely two extremes of a continuum. Dark is simply less light. Low is another level of high. Cold a less energetic form of hot. This interdependence and interconnectedness is true of almost any pair that we may, at first, set apart as opposites.

In much the same way, our mortality drives us to seek some kind of immortality. Each of us strives to extend our mortal lives, to find a measure, however small or large, of lasting presence. At USC Dornsife, we see this in the knowledge we hand down through the generations. Our faculty, as teachers and mentors, extend the continuum of progress and insight by training the next generation of scholars. As researchers, they contribute to an ever-evolving process of discovery and a continuously expanding reservoir of human knowledge.

We also see this in the impact we’re making in our community and the planet at large. Our world-renowned scientists are developing new ways to extend and improve life. Other faculty are working on sustaining the Earth’s natural environment. Still others delve into historical research that preserves and adds context to the stories that define humanity.

We have made it our highest value to ask the most difficult questions and to consider the perspective of others. By relying on the authority of evidence and ideas, USC Dornsife is making a positive impact on society today that will last long into the future — an impact that transcends the life of any one individual or any one moment in time.

Amber D. Miller
Dean of USC Dornsife
Anna H. Bing Dean’s Chair