With his English accent and sense of humor, students have often compared Professor Talbert to John Cleese–but with far more expertise. During his 31 years as the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of History, Professor Talbert taught and inspired hundreds of students each semester. In 2011, two undergrads even spent the night outside the department’s office door just to ensure their places in his seminar for history majors. Over the years, more than 20 graduate students have gained their Ph.D. under his direction, and as the co-author of the textbook most widely used in U.S. college-level Roman history courses, Professor Talbert’s impact reaches far beyond Chapel Hill.

Professor Talbert is in phased retirement, with plans to fully retire from UNC at the end of the 2020 academic year. He will truly leave a legacy behind, and it is one that Carolina must perpetuate. However, tight budgets are making the prospects for hiring a replacement any time soon very bleak. Sadly, Professor Talbert’s retirement will likely leave the UNC History Department as the only one of its peer institutions without a historian of ancient Rome.

To honor Professor Talbert’s remarkable career and to safeguard the continuation of educating the students and citizens of North Carolina in Roman history, the Department of History is seeking to raise $2.5 million to establish a Roman history professorship in Professor Talbert’s name. Gifts to the Richard Talbert Faculty Excellence Fund in Ancient History will initiate this effort and help empower the Department of History with the funds needed to maintain a distinguished professor fo Roman history among its faculty.

Please consider making a gift toward this effort today. Gifts of all sizes will bring us closer to our goal of honoring a truly brilliant historian and teacher while perpetuating the study of a vital part of human history.

UNC History wants to hear from you! If you have questions or suggestions of people who may be interested in supporting this exciting campaign, please share this website and don’t hesitate to contact Lisa Lindsay, the Department Chair, at lalinsda@email.unc.edu or 919-962-2178.

Make an online donation to this important effort HERE.