Susan Perschbacher

Professor; Director, Worcester Institute for Senior Education

I think success is doing your personal best and just really trying.  When I did that gerontology program, I thought that was a success here, and I passed it on to a really good person when I left.  Starting the service program, that took me ten years here, and turning that over to a good person.  Now the WISE program for senior learners, when I started it was 300 now it’s almost 500.  There’s a lot of older people in Worcester and it’s a great program.  Maybe getting something and making it a little bit better.  But I’m proud, I’ve done my best, I’m proud of my academic achievement.  I’m most proud of my daughters.  But I’m not proud of them, I’m pleased I had them.  They’re not a success, they’re just the greatest source of meaning.  All my research when I finally got started in academia was on making meaning of late life for older people.  And I do think that making meaning is something we should all be thinking about.

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Susan Perschbacher was born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1946.  She spent her childhood living in Denver, before she eventually moved to Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts.  After graduating from Denison University she took many jobs before eventually landing at Assumption College.  There she was a professor of sociology and also took on roles for many social programs, including the WISE [Worcester Institute for Senior Education] program.  Ms. Perschbacher has two daughters who are now in their 30s.  Her life has taken her to many places and given her many fond memories.

Interview Date: 
March 12, 2019
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