Bill Bittner ’49

This year’s inductee into the Delta Xi Hall of Fame exemplifies what it means to be a FIJI. Bill started his academic career at Cal Tech in June of 1944 where he was studying engineering. Bill’s time at Cal Tech was short-lived, though, as by February 1st, 1945 Bill had joined the Navy. Bill was not the only member of his family to serve, though, as he was joined by his brothers and fellow Cal Fijis John (Delta Xi ’45) and Don (Delta Xi ’47). Their father Clarence was also in the Navy serving in the radar and sonar division. After returning from service in September 1946, Bill moved his studies to UC Berkeley where he changed his major to physiology. Once at Cal Bill pledged Phi Gamma Delta and quickly became involved with the chapter. In Bill’s final year at Cal, he was elected Chapter President. It was also during this time that he met his wife Nancy, whom he has been happily married to now for 62 years.

After graduating from Cal, Bill moved across the country to obtain his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He graduated in 1953 and moved back to sunny California. Once back on the west coast Bill went into general practice in Carmichael, a suburb of Sacramento, for 23 years. Bill’s accomplishments during his career there include serving as President of the Sacramento Medical Society, as well as a Director for the California Medical Association. After leaving his private practice, Bill served as the Medical Director at the Student Health Service for UC Davis for thirteen and half years.

Bill recalls his time with his brothers at Delta Xi as the high point of his life. Bill was a very enthusiastic member and enjoyed spending his time with his brothers snow skiing and spending weeks backpacking through the John Muir trails.

Bill and Nancy are currently retired and split time between their home in Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. They are also very proud of their three sons: Rodman (56), James Edward “Jed” (54), and Kurt (52). Jed attended UC Berkeley for four years and was also a member of Delta Xi. Kurt began his studies at UCB and joined Delta Xi before transferring to Berklee College of Music in Boston.