Books on peace and justice by Manchester alumni
authors are on the shelves of Funderburg Library and
Timothy Brauch, assistant professor of mathematics,
has algebra textbooks by Marvin Bittinger ’63 on his
bookshelves, and has taught from them at other colleges.
Manchester students also
have studied from Bittinger texts.
’71x Vawter, author of
Adventures on Promise Island,
and Flora Rouch ’59 Williams,
author of The Shepherd’s Guide and other works, joined
several Manchester alumni
authors for book signings
and conversations at
Marvin Bittinger ’63 is
a prolific author
textbooks, teacher guides
GLADDEN SCHROCK ’58 IS ONE of two Manchester
College alumni authors nominated for the Pulitzer
Prize. In his nominated fiction, Letters From Alf,
“Who can we look to for wisdom? Once we were
convicted by God, then by His death. Now, not
even the death of God interests us. We are passively
moral, speak of instinct as though it were atavistic,
cannot even do war with certainty. We glory in our
insipid homogeneity, the blessing of democracy.”
Phil West ’60, who has spent nearly a half-century
searching for common ground between the people
of America and East Asia, was nominated for his
very first book, Yenching University and Sino-
Western Relations, 1916-1952.
Many, many Manchester alumni have authored
scores and scores of books, from scholarly tomes on
issues of history, peace and justice to lighter reading
on personal finance, prayer and children’s stories.
The author of Silly Tilly and Mrs. Tibbles and the
Special Someone not only wrote but also illustrated
the children’s books: Jeanine Wine ’76, a biology-chemistry
and art major who today is Manchester’s
In 2008, Myrna Grove ’71 completed her biography
about the first minister and organizer of the
Brethren movement in the 18th century. Her book, Alexander Mack: A Man Who Rippled the Waters marks the denomination’s 300th anniversary. She’s
also written about asbestos cancer, one-room schools
and even a children’s book.
James Hollis ’62 used his degree in English when
writing Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life:
How to Finally, Really Grow Up. He writes: “The
second half of life presents a rich possibility for
spiritual enlargement, for we are never going to have
greater powers of choice, never have more lessons of
history from which to learn, and never possess more
emotional resilience ...”
In his historical novel, Heart of a Warrior: The True
Saga of Sweet Breeze and William Wells, Joe Krom ’67 tells of a pioneer taken captive at a young age by the
Miami tribe, and of his relationship with the daughter
of famous Chief Little Turtle.
Norm Coots ’89 and his wife, Carol, say their book
has saved companies nationwide 50 million dollars:
Stop Wasting Money! Your Common Sense Money
Management Guide for Everyday Life.
Flora Rouch ’59 Williams offers prose and poetry
ranging from spiritual guidance to financial matters.
Here’s a sample of the home economics major’s
talent in her 2006 book, Poetry for Life Renewal:
“Serve with joy.
Take the bumps.
Dodge the arrows.
Then tonight return to rest.
Trusting God whom you attest.”
Robert C. Johansen ’62 discusses the developing
world order in The National Interest and the Human
Interest: An Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy and why the influence of the United States fails to benefit the global
human interest. He recently retired as founding faculty of the
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the
University of Notre Dame.
Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the personal insight (and
strategies) of Coach Scott Kreiger ’88 in Four Sunny
Saturdays as he recounts the journey of the Canterbury
Lady Cavaliers basketball team to its first-ever 1A state
championship in 2008. (He’s still head women’s basketball
coach for Canterbury High in Fort Wayne.)
Mathematician Marvin Bittinger ’63 has sold more than 13
million copies of his textbooks, teacher guides and
publications. It’s hard to find a math teacher who has not
heard of him or used at least one of his more than 220
works, teacher guides and publications.
“The Bittinger texts are good to use with students who
struggle with math,” says Timothy M. Brauch, Manchester
assistant professor of mathematics. “They are easy to
understand and present the topics in an orderly manner,
using a lot of examples of how the topics are used in real
G. John Ikenberry ’76 majored in political science and
philosophy. His After Victory: Institutions, Strategic
Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars won the 2002 Schroeder-Jervis Award for
best book in international history and
politics. Readers can find copies in Japanese,
Italian and Chinese as well as the original
Manchester grads have much to say, from the
scholars to the whimsical poets to the
reflectively religious and the historians. Some
win great prizes, some are prolific writers.
Read the list of Manchester authors on the Office of Alumni Relations Authors page.
BY CHRIS MINTER ’15
“I wanted to write something that offered
an alternative viewpoint.”
ENGLISH MAJOR Anne Schrock ’78 Ott intended to be a writer. She
published her first piece in the Church of the Brethren Messenger
magazine, an article about her professor, T. Wayne Rieman. Newspaper
reporting and freelancing set her on a writing career, but her passion
was for fiction. After a few graduate-level writing classes, she began her
future as a novelist.
Windswept is Ott’s first work of fiction, with
a sequel on its way. She draws on strong
characters whose family relationships are
grounded in respect, love and community.
“Love is hard work; love is a decision. Lots
of fiction, television and movies model
unhealthy relationships,” reflects Ott. “I
wanted to write something that offered an
alternative viewpoint. At the same time,
while the characters may be classified as
‘people of faith,’ this is not a work that
implies that belief in God will make
everything OK. The book is about one
family trying to live together and love each
other when life is good and when it’s difficult.”
Ott stresses that writing is a process. Her advice to aspiring authors: “Go
to workshops, seminars, classes and write. Have your work critiqued by
professionals. Be humble enough to learn from others you respect and
courageous enough to be bold.”
Ott is a big fan of her alma mater: “Manchester is all about inspiring
people to become the best they can be, to live lives of service, to believe
that they can go out and make a difference in the world.
“In some respects, you could say that my characters are very much
influenced by what I learned at Manchester because who I am is so
intrinsically woven with the education I received there and the way it has
shaped my life.”
BY CHRIS MINTER ’15