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.