Published on August 14, 2020 by Sean Flynt  

Fulton, Missouri, native Henry Glotfelty was fascinated with physics early in his life, and also knew that he wanted to teach at a university. He graduated with First Honors from the University of Missouri and went on to earn M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Kansas before joining Samford’s faculty in 1978. In the more than four decades that followed, he realized his childhood goal and inspired hundreds of students with his love of physics.

Glotfelty is keenly interested in how his discipline is applied, especially in the discovery of new planets via the Kepler Telescope, and he could often be spotted on campus with students in a tangle of telescope tripods. He taught courses in astronomy and physics and electronics, but he most enjoyed being a part of students' learning process in the lab. He encouraged them to get their hands on the science, master it and think of new ways to apply it in diverse careers.

Glotfelty was interim chair of the Physics Department in his last three years of service to Samford–a time of rising student interest in his discipline, significant improvements to Christenberry Planetarium and the addition of new faculty who share his dedication to physics education.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.