Captain Donald Bittner, M.D. '77 received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree during the Newman University Spring and Summer Commencement ceremony May 11. The university awards honorary degrees at each fall and spring commencement to individuals whose life and work reflect exemplary dedication to one of the university's four Core Values. Bittner was recognized as an outstanding example of the university's Core Value of Global Perspective.
Bittner is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and is considered one of Southern California's most respected specialists in reconstructive and microvascular surgery of the hand, wrist and elbow. Bittner, who has a long history of service in the U.S. Naval Reserves, volunteered for active duty when he learned of the Navy's need for surgeons in Afghanistan and other war zones, and served as chief medical officer of a large medical battalion in Afghanistan.
Bittner recently served as a deputy director at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and is currently deputy surgeon for the 6th Fleet, U.S. Navy. He lives in California, where he practices orthopedic surgery and is associate professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand at the University of California at Irvine.