As many of you know I officially retired yesterday, June 30th, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte after thirty-three yeas of teaching, but forty-five total including my previous years at Notre Dame and the College of William and Mary. I might also mention that UNC Charlotte was founded in 1946–the year I was born, and its “Founders Day” is March 2–my birthday. So I guess you could say I was “bound for Charlotte” from birth!
It has been quite a journey with many noteworthy milestones and high points for which I am grateful. Some of the involvements for which I am most thankful to have served include the following. I have in that time published ten books, including two bestsellers, over 70 articles and scholarly papers, taught over 10,000 students–both undergraduate and graduate–including MA and Ph.D. During my time at UNC Charlotte I have traveled to Israel 70 times–this includes participating in five excavations over multiple years, doing independent research, and filming. I have also taken about 750 students on Study Abroad trips–mostly in Israel but also Egypt and Jordan, and approximately 428 others on educational tours–including our former Chancellor and a VIP group, once to Israel and another trip to Jordan–and separate trips for my Dean and Provost. I know that many who have traveled with me consider the experience–whether touring or doing archaeological work–as a highlight of their lives. Twelve of my graduate students went on for Ph.D.s and have carried on the “Chicago” heritage I passed on from Jonathan Z. Smith, Robert M. Grant, and Norman Perrin–all now sadly departed. I have directed dozens of additional MA and Honors theses. I have also delivered over 100 academic papers and scholarly lectures, and over 1000 public presentations and several thousand major print and TV media interviews including the NYTimes, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, London Times, LeMonde, Harpers, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, PBS, TIME, Newsweek, US News&WR, Der Spiegel, Sabato and Profil as well as all major TV networks in the US, the UK, and Europe. I have also been part of eighteen TV documentaries–including PBS, NatGeo, History, Smithsonian, Discovery, BBC, Channel 4, ZDF and other international programs.
I summarize none of this with anything but a sense of profound gratitude, to my students, colleagues, and to all those many thousands of my readers and hearers for whom my work has been of benefit and I hope, enlightenment.
In terms of “things to come,” I sent out my July newsletter yesterday to over 4000 subscribers which highlights some of the most important . Here is the link if you did not get it, TaborBlog July 2022 Newsletter, which highlights some of activities on the horizon. I hope you will sign up for notifications as well as the newsletter– see the right sidebar–one is for blog notifications so you get anything on this blog first–via email and a link; the other is for the monthly newsletter that I began in January. Also, subscribe to my Youtube Channel–and hit the “notifications” bell if you want to keep up with the newest additions: JamesTaborVideos.
I anticipate the Newsletter will become one of the central places to offer updates on a host of new activities that I have planned. One of the main things I will be doing is leading specialized tours to Israel and Jordan, as well as Italy and Greece–dealing with every aspect of the historical and archaeological areas in which I work. I hope to meet many of you face-to-face “on the ground,” where it all happened. As I mentioned in the July Newsletter I will be building on several major projects that I have worked on in the past–including Mt Zion, Masada, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, sites in Jordan, the Jerusalem “Necropolis” of the late 2nd Temple period, and new work I have just begun on the location and significance of Mt Horeb in the 1st century CE.