I am sad to report that Hugh G. Welch, Ph.D., FACSM passed away on April 12, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He maintained his optimism, curiosity and broad interests throughout the process. Hugh was directly involved in the creation of the Southeast Chapter and a conspicuous presence at its annual meeting throughout his career.
Hugh was Professor in two departments at the University of Tennessee (UT): Physical Education (now the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies) and the Department of Zoology (now Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology). As many of you know, Hugh was brought to UT in 1968 by Andy Kozar (first SEACSM president) to create an Exercise Physiology laboratory. When I was hired at UT in 1970, I walked into a brand new, state-of-the-art lab due to Hugh's insights, energy, and dedication to make the lab the best it could be. Hugh was the director of the laboratory for his entire career at UT. After his retirement from UT in 1989 Hugh held teaching positions at Syddansk Universitet in Denmark, Appalachian State University, Northern Arizona, Texas A&M, Louisiana State University, and Mississippi College for Women.
He was a very productive scholar (e.g., the first ever Scholar Award recipient of SEACSM), contributing substantially to our understanding of the factors limiting endurance performance, in particular the effects (or lack thereof) of inspiring high oxygen mixtures. In addition, he invested himself fully in the development of improved teaching/learning strategies for undergraduates, and provided conspicuous leadership in the American College of Sports Medicine.
In my many conversations with Hugh over the past few years, a clear highlight of his life was working with his students and seeing them grow into independent investigators, scholars, outstanding teachers, and contributors to professional organizations—while never losing their sense of humor. His PhD students and research colleagues respected him most for his insistence on accuracy and reproducibility. He will be missed.
Here is the link to Hugh’s obit that appeared in the paper this morning.
Edward T. Howley, PhD.
University of Tennessee