University of Southern California

I'm Just Trying to Get Even
June 8, 2012 • by Herb Perlmutter

My parents were Holocaust survivors who arrived here with high school diplomas and a desire to start a new life. They supported our family by owning and operating a liquor store. It was a difficult life for them, so they always stressed the importance of education. From the time I was three, I knew I was going to go to college. The problem was there simply wasn’t any spare money for college. I knew then that I had to figure out a way to earn my degree.

Fortunately, USC decided to invest in me. I received a university scholarship, and between that scholarship and federal and state grants, I made it through four years without having to pay a dollar for tuition. By living at home, and working at Ralphs grocery store, I was able to make ends meet and graduate debt-free.

Without that scholarship I wouldn’t have met the beautiful coed who became my wife. I wouldn’t have been hired by a "Big 8" accounting firm, or inspired by Andy Mosich, who spent as much time in class giving life lessons as he did accounting lessons.

Thirty-three years later, Andy Mosich still makes a point to keep in touch. I can call and ask him for anything and he would do it for me, and vice versa. That’s the sort of man he is. A former gymnast, he wasn’t the tallest guy, but when he stood in front of the room, he had a presence that commanded absolute control. My first class with him was held in what is now the accounting building, but back then housed multiple departments. The first week of class, students kept walking in and asking if Andy's class was Religion 459. Finally, about the fifth time it happened, he held up the accounting textbook (which he had written) and replied, "Yes, this is Religion 459, I’m Moses, and this is the Bible."

I believe part of that is absolutely true: He led me to "my promised land." I have been a partner at Deloitte for 23 years. All three of my children are Trojans, and I’m happy to support the A. N. Mosich Endowed Chair in Accounting. That way maybe I’ll finally get just a little closer to being even with the school that gave me so much. It’s our responsibility to keep this school great. That’s why I hope you’ll join me in supporting the USC Leventhal School of Accounting.

Yours truly,

Herb Perlmutter, B.S. ACCT ´78