Gift of $1 million will name department for Bittinger


One of the things that makes Manchester University a special place is the enduring loyalty and generosity of its alumni. Alumni gifts play a crucial role in maintaining the trademark excellence of the Manchester educational experience.

The recent $1 million gift from Marvin ’63 and Elaine Sailors ’64 Bittinger is the latest example of this.
The gift will provide an endowment fund and name the Marvin L. Bittinger Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. The earnings from their endowment fund will help support such things as student learning, research and faculty development in the department.

Elaine is a retired elementary school teacher. Marv was a longtime mathematics professor at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and earned his master’s degree from Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from Purdue. In addition to teaching thousands of college-level mathematics students in the classroom, he has written more than 200 textbooks ranging in topics from developmental mathematics to algebra to calculus.

“I have had enough struggles with math to identify with students who have problems,” Marv once said about why he is an effective teacher. His older son, Lowell Bittinger ’92, has noted how much satisfaction Marv has found in helping others. “Dad always emphasized the value of a good education and working hard to pursue what you want to do in life.”

The Bittingers have long been generous donors to Manchester, establishing the Thurmyle Gosnell Memorial Scholarship Fund named for Marv’s beloved aunt who graduated from MU in 1941. Marv also served on the Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1997 and received the Alumni Honor Award in 2010.