Dr. A. Dain Samples
Following Dr. Shannon's
further tributes were shared in the following order:
Dr. Vik J. Kapoor
ECE Department Chair, U of C
I speak today with great sorrow and sadness in my heart on behalf of
the faculty, the technical, and the administrative staff, graduate students, as well as
undergraduate-students of the University of Cincinnati, where Dain Samples was a professor
in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
I talked to our president, Joe Steger, last night, and on behalf of
the entire university, he sends his condolences and sympathy to the parents and the wife,
and other relatives. So does Dean Papadakis, the dean of the college.
We were all stunned and speechless when we found the sudden passing
away of our beloved friend, Dain Samples.
I met with him the previous Friday. We had a couple-hour chat. And
we said, "Let's meet again next Wednesday," -- the day he passed away -- because
he will be gone for two days and I will have gone to Europe for three days. I was informed
as I landed at the Atlanta airport on Thursday at 4:30. And when my assistant informed me,
I was really... The telephone fell out of my hand, and she has to start yelling, "Dr.
Kapoor, are you still there?" It was so sudden.
I want to say with you, a few things. It very few times happens a
faculty member gets very close to a department chair. (laughter) Because... I'm the reason
given when they come home late. (laughter)
Two years ago at this time, we were interviewing him for the faculty
position in our department. I distinctly remember, around 4:30, Professor Phil Wilsey, who
is the Director of the computers program in our department, came running to me and he
said, "Vik, Vik! We've got to hire this guy." I said, "What's big about
this? We have interviewed 15 others," or about 12 at that time. He said, "Vik,
our faculty feel not that he is only technically competent, who'll be an outstanding
professor, but I'm telling you, he is going to make a difference!"
And I remember those words. And I want to share with you, how in
last only... less than two years, he has made the difference!
I always felt his first love was for his teaching, and caring for
his students. This year, for example, 10% of the senior class wanted to work with him to
do their senior project. And when I informed them there were only two openings available,
[I nearly had] a riot. (laughter) I asked the students, "Why would you want to work
with Professor Dain Samples? There are other 29 professors in the department." They
say, "You know, Dr. Kapoor, he cares. He's going to make a difference, and we're
going to get a better job." And, knowing Dain, he took more students than normally a
professor takes. Many, many more. And I have seen him spending his hours and days working
with the students.
Professor Dain Samples was known to teach compiling; he was a
computer scientist. He was in software. We hired him because he was the best in compiler
computation theory. And he was the first [such] professor at the University of Cincinnati;
built his courses and program. These courses were never taught before.
At the end of the classes, we always have a teaching evaluation.
Professors want to get feedback from the students. His teaching evaluations for all the
two years -- and I personally read all the evaluations of all the professors -- his
evaluations was between one and two. One is Excellent and Two is Very Good. And it always was between one and two,
better than any other professor in our department,
consistently over a two year period.
He cares for his students, and that's what I meant, he made a
He took on students... It was so sad... I reflect back, a few months
back, one of his students' husband passed away and he and I went together to attend the
Dain and I were close. As I said, that very rarely happens. He would
be a person I could go to and seek advice. I truly believe I lost a younger brother. He
has been -- now that I also know his wife Pat very well; his children; we have visited
with Joyce and John at their house; enjoyed the children, when they got the twins. My
children, I have twins, and enjoyed coming and visiting and sharing their experience with
Dain and Pat.
Truly we lost a faculty member who's going to be very hard to
replace and be very missed. In two years, he had made a mark on students, as you saw. So
many students came here today to share.
At this time, I'd like to announce the formation -- the department
and the University of Cincinnati has decided to establish the
Dain Samples Outstanding Senior
(click for list of recipients)
It will be given every year to a senior because Dain was a faculty
advisor to Eta Kappa Nu honor society. The plaque will be established and on the
principles which Dain Samples stood for... We expect all his principles to be embodied in
this award. It will be given every year, chosen by the faculty.
And again, in the end... I am grieved. The department is grieved. We
are stunned. You have lost a best friend and a husband and a son and a brother. We have
lost also a brother.
May God rest his soul.
Harold Carter, Associate
Dain's Mentor and Colleague
Dr. Harold Carter, Associate
Dain's Mentor and Colleague
Dain was my friend.
It took only two years to obtain a friend that was one of the best.
Within a university environment, often times the stresses and the activities become so
demanding that it's hard for even relationships to develop any further than just sort of
professionally or superficially. But with Dain, that didn't occur. It went deeper than
And not just for myself, but in talking with others in our
department, Dain had an effect that was deeper than just a professional relationship. And
so his passing was very deep to us.
I was by Dain's side within seconds after he'd collapsed; he found
his way outside of the classroom, where in fact, his collapse occurred during the time he
was doing what he enjoyed best; he was twenty minutes into a lecture he was giving that
day. He was teaching students that he dearly loved. He wanted to see their minds enriched.
But more than that, he wanted to see the students develop as human beings. As people who
are making a transition from youthfulness to professional to adulthood to maturity.
So, his passing is doubly hard.
We had very brief conversations during the several minutes it took
before the paramedics arrived. He realized the severity of his condition. And to the
family -- I, as many of you are, a born-again Christian; very deep in my faith. I also
have a son who has decided not to follow the ways he was raised in terms of his own
spiritual growth. But remember, God's word does say, in Proverbs, that, train up a child
in the way he should go, and when he is old, when he is mature, he will follow that way.
And it is my belief that as a result of this understanding that Dain had in the last few
moments of his life, that he had the opportunity to reflect on his childhood raising, and
understand the importance of God within his life, and to perhaps at that time, accept
Jesus Christ as his personal savior, and through that, clinch eternity with God our
So, in closing, I'd just like to state that Dain came to us,
selected out of over 400 applicants; unanimous decision of the half-a-dozen computer
science and engineering professors. We accepted him and immediately got to know him
socially. I have fond memories of going with my son, with him and with Karen and Bobby
Davis. I remember having a good time. Then I remember being with Dain occasionally;
remember receiving over E-Mail -- we computer people tend to communicate a lot over
E-Mail. He had sent to us after his first class that he taught, a two or three page
explanation of how he perceived his course to have gone, the background work his students
should have had in order to complete his course. At that moment, I think we as a faculty
recognized that we had a person who not only would do the things that the time required,
but would reflect back on them and let us know so that we all could improve.
He was severely demanding. But he did so because he wanted to see
others reach their potential.
So, let me just say that, he was my friend, and I'm going to miss
John C. Samples
This was Dain's Day. Thank all of you who made it possible.
So many people to thank for so many things. I have a friend here who
drove all the way from Nashville, Tennessee just, willingly brought the sound equipment
for us; Ron Worrell, and I appreciate that so much.
People have driven from Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nebraska
(chuckle); our younger son was in Nebraska when the news came.
I think Dain's Day has been just right. Thank you Dr. Shannon for
your just right words.
Thank all of you for your presence.
We're not going to leave if someone else has something they want to
add. Would you have something you'd want to add.
Please, come to the microphone. Anyone else... Collect your
thoughts. Dr. Shannon has to leave to catch a plane. I don't know if anybody else has to
leave or not, but this is Dain's Day and... I don't know if you met PudyBear or not,
but... this little Teddy Bear here's been Dain's since about two years of age. He took it
to college with him. (laughter) Was he there when he got his Ph.D.? He was there when he
got his Ph.D.
It's interesting how we learn to love what those we love, love. Ever
Other students, friends, and family members may share their thoughts
and feelings at this time.
One of Dain's students
I can't say much to you all, but I would like to say a few things to
Dr. Samples. I'm sure he's here. I never got a chance to say anything when he was with us,
so I'd just like to take this opportunity to say, he was my advisor. Not only in my
academics, but in all my matters that troubled me. I could go to him, turn to him, and
speak to him about anything that I wanted.
Dr. Samples was a very patient person. I am not a very good student.
I know for a fact, I am not very good student. There are much, much better students than I
am. He was very tolerant with me. He taught me whatever I had curiosity about. He always
cleared-up everything for me; many times. He never told me I was wrong; he always wanted
me to search for the answer, if I was wrong. He never said, "You are wrong," or
"This idea won't work." He gave me an opportunity to find it out for myself.
That way, I grew into a better person in the last two years of my masters program.
Comparing him to the other professors, he was extremely tolerant. I
mean, I would become impatient with him (laughter), really. He was so tolerant with every
student. I was one of his research students and we had questions and he would be answering
questions of his class students. With so much patience... I never saw it in any person.
And he used to explain each and every step. He never wanted anyone
to fail in his class or get a bad grade. He cared about the students so much. It's very
tough on all of us; he was a very good friend to all of us.
I really don't have too many words to say for him. He was really a
great person. In my heart... the place I have for him... it cannot be replaced by anybody
else. He is really irreplaceable in all aspects.
On behalf of all the students in our research group, I'd like to
convey our condolences to you all, to the family and relatives of Dr. Samples. And we just
want you to have courage.
It is very difficult on all of us, but I guess he is the lucky one;
he got out of all the miseries of this life. He escaped all of it, so he is really the
Thank you for the opportunity.