by Alana J. Mauger
Paul S. “Mike” Bitner, of Salford Township, was presented with an honorary Associate in Letters in recognition of his extraordinary service to Montgomery County Community College during the institution’s Commencement ceremony on May 19.
Bitner, age 90, served as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees from 1991-1993 and 1997-2010, including 10 years as chairman, bringing strong leadership to the institution during a time of significant growth. He oversaw the development of the College’s facilities master plan, which paved the way for such projects as the new Advanced Technology Center, the expanded Fine Arts Center, the new Children’s Center, and full-scale renovations to Parkhouse Hall and College Hall at the Central Campus.
At the West Campus, the renovation and opening of North Hall and the acquisition of the former PECO building on College Drive – which is now being transformed into the Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center — were all made possible by Bitner’s vision and support.
“Mr. Bitner is a longtime leader, friend, and passionate advocate for the College, and his belief in our mission and his pride in the institution is evident through his every action – both on and off campus,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Michael D’Aniello during the honorary degree presentation.
Even before Bitner’s 15 years of service to the College, he was committed to education. After retiring from Lemmon Pharmaceuticals in 1970, he spent close to 30 years as a member of the Souderton Area School Board of Directors. He also served as director of the North Penn/Souderton Hall of Fame, as chairman of industries with the United Way, as Quakertown district governor of the Pennsylvania Jaycees, and as a Rotarian.
“There is no doubt about Mr. Bitner’s devotion to the continued success of our college and our community,” said D’Aniello. “His life’s work of service and advocacy, paired with his long history of supporting our mission of access and quality, make him an ideal role model for our graduates and all who know him.”