Cory Massaro, B.A. 2020

Wikimedia Foundation, Staff Software Engineer

2020 Major: Classical Languages and English (Creative Writing Focus)

How has being a Classical Studies graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"I credit my time with the old languages and old poems for much of my worldview. In Ancient Greek and Sanskrit poetry, the world glistens, and there's something to live for beyond the coarsely material. The Classics have inspired generations of revolutionaries, and with good reason: as much as the world tells us that it's only money that matters, or only technology, or only (hegemonic, Eurocentric, classist and white supremacist notions of) progress, the Classics show us what it might look like not to burn the world up."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Classical Studies programs? 

"Your degree is not a professional expedient. It is an opportunity to explore and assert one's core values. I see the university years as a time for curiosity, learning, creativity, and play. These four habits are not valued in working life; all too often, they are actively discouraged. Therefore, during the precious era of the undergraduate degree, these habits can and must be cultivated absent the disruptive drudgery of work. For those who are not independently wealthy, it may be the last such opportunity to do so."

Cory Massaro