National Endowment for the Humanities Chair of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Bill Fulco, S.J., retired after nearly 20 years at LMU. Scholar, teacher, curator, mentor, raconteur are among the roles Father Fulco has played since he joined the faculty in 1998. Among his many accomplishments, Father Fulco collected and preserved a museum-quality collection and founded the LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts’ Archaeology Center, which enhances the educational experience of our students.
A popular teacher, Father Fulco’s courses covered a broad range of topics: God and the world of ancient Israel; ancient religions; music culture in ancient Palestine; ancient Near Eastern languages; Near Eastern archaeology; biblical archaeology and Old Testament studies; and classical numismatics. Father Fulco has traveled the world exploring those subjects, and more; he also made archeological travel available for our students, annually sponsoring digs all over the world through his NEH funding. In 2007, LMU recognized him with the Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Presidential Award, one of the highest honors bestowed on faculty by the university.
His acclaimed wit made him a sought-after speaker for gatherings of intellectuals, parents, and friends of the university. Father Fulco was the Aramaic language adviser for the film “The Passion of the Christ.” Father Fulco was born in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles, graduated from Loyola High School, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1954. He was ordained in 1966. Father Fulco earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and literatures from Yale University. BCLA welcomes Prof. Caroline Sauvage to her new roles as NEH Chair and Director of the Archaeology Center, and thanks and honors Bill for his significant and impactful contributions to our community.