MARC-ACSM Mourns The Loss of Past President Dr. H. Samuel Case-
H. Samuel Case, beloved professor and coach who taught human physiology and exercise science courses at the College for nearly four decades, died August 22, 2012 at age 70 following complications from leukemia. He also served as Provost and Dean of the Faculty from 2000 to 2004.
The starting line of Sam's career emerged by accident while he was still an undergraduate at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel). He suffered a concussion while playing football in his sophomore year and opted to assist with coaching. By the time he graduated in 1963 with a degree in physical education and biology, he had racked up three years of coaching experience.
He taught and coached briefly at The Johns Hopkins University before his former professor, Dick Clower, brought him back as a colleague in 1965. Sam earned a master's degree in physical education from the College in 1966, and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from The Ohio State University in 1971. After joining the College faculty, he rose rapidly through the ranks from instructor to full professor. He is one of the few faculty to win the College's prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award not once but twice. He also received two Fulbright nominations to the former Yugoslavia in 1988 and 1989.
On three occasions, his expertise took him to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where he served as a physiologist. He held numerous offices in professional associations and served as chair of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Physical Fitness and as associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Sam helped to lead curricular reform in the 1990s while developing and teaching new courses in his department. His contribution to the study of human physiology in extreme environments is highly acclaimed, including his research - often participatory research - on competitors in the Iditarod and Iditasport ultra-marathon. He ran the more than 80 miles of Alaska's tundra in sub-zero temperatures three times within a decade. That work spurred even more important research projects in Antarctica between 1997 and 1999, funded by the National Science Foundation, which awarded him the Antarctica Service Medal. His cold weather research inspired the popular "Physiology of Extreme Environments" course.
He was a member of the Tri-Beta Biology Honorary Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society. He published some 58 articles on physiology and physical fitness, many co-authored with his students who accompanied him on his research expeditions.
Sam also built an outstanding career as a skilled and dedicated coach, having led the College's wrestling team to Mason Dixon Conference Championships in 1969 and 1970. In 2001, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame recognized him with its Lifetime Service Award. That same year, he was inducted into the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame and, in 2004, he was inducted into the Green Terror Sports Hall of Fame.
Sam was an adventurer and world traveler who always chose to push his limits. A year after his retirement in 2004, he and a college buddy completed an 18-day trek through the Mount Everest region of Nepal, climbing high enough into the mountains to risk altitude sickness.
He gave back in large measure to both the campus and local communities. Each year, he organized the faculty hike and was instrumental in establishing recognition of retired faculty in Memorial Plaza. For more than 20 years, he volunteered for the local and Mid-Maryland Division of the American Heart Association.
In an essay written by Sam in 1995 when nominated for the CASE Professor of the Year, he wrote, "My greatest reward as a teacher comes when my students understand how their bodies function, realize their own potentials, and explore the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge. I hope that when they leave the classroom, they will continue to set personal records for themselves, both as Olympic thinkers and creative athletes."
A native of Three Bridges, New Jersey, Sam went to Hunterton Central High School where he was on both the football and wrestling teams. During his junior year, he was second in his weight class in the N.J. State Novice Wrestling Tournament. Sam is survived by his wife, Susan Snodgrass Case '65 of Westminster, and their two daughters Lauren and Sarah, and their families.