Celebrating the Life and Times of Inspirational Educator Samuel Hulbert

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Watch the video excerpts from the Sam Hulbert memorial

The Rose-Hulman and Terre Haute communities joined alumni and family members of President Emeritus Samuel F. Hulbert on campus February 13 to celebrate the life and times of the inspirational educator and orthopedic prostheses scholar.

Hulbert, 79, died on January 29. He was Rose-Hulman's president for 28 years (September 1, 1976 to June 30, 2004), the longest presidential tenure in institute history. Under his leadership Rose-Hulman emerged as a national leader in undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics education. He also was a recognized authority and pioneer in the use of ceramics in the design of orthopedic and dental implants and prostheses.

"Sam Hulbert was a man of extraordinary vision and passion, whose impact extends well beyond the border of this campus. It can be felt in the lives of every member of the Rose-Hulman family," said current President Jim Conwell at the Celebration of Life event hosted in Hulbert Arena of the Sports and Recreation Center.

Conwell noted that Rose-Hulman's current students, faculty, and staff members enjoy the campus improvements and culture of caring established under Hulbert's leadership of the institute.

"He saw the potential in a little-known, all-male, Midwestern engineering college to embrace co-education and become the country's best undergraduate engineering institution. And, he totally changed the way engineering education is done-from one where the faculty-student relationship was adversarial in nature, to one that is still rigorous, but supportive," Conwell remarked. "Today, thanks to the leadership of Sam Hulbert, Rose-Hulman is a beacon of engineering education in the U.S."

Other speakers at the ceremony were:

  • Son Jeff Hulbert, a 1991 mechanical engineering alumnus
  • Niles Noblitt, a longtime friend, 1973 biological engineering alumnus, and vice chairman of Rose-Hulman's Board of Trustees
  • Richard Ditteon, a 1975 physics alumnus, professor of physics and optical engineering, and director of the Oakley Observatory
  • Tom Miller, associate vice president of student affairs and dean of student affairs
  • Kimberly (Hayden) Henthorn, associate professor of chemical engineering and 1999 alumnus who was a member of the inaugural coeducation freshman class

Hulbert enjoyed his retirement years in Naples, Florida, with his wife, Joy, who died on July 23, 2015. Survivors include three children: Gregory Hulbert (CHE, 1983), Samantha Anshutz, and Jeffrey Hulbert, and 10 grandchildren.


Learn more about Hulbert and his many honors.

Persons wishing to share their special memories of Samuel Hulbert can do so through social media at #samstories or by sending them to dale.long@rose-hulman.edu.