Dorothy Jane Bittinger Lynd was the first in her family to graduate from college, and she remained a champion of education throughout her 100 years of life. Early in her career, she taught a handful of students in a one-room schoolhouse nestled in the remote Nebraska Sandhills. But, by all accounts, “Miss Bittinger” was equally at home in Long Beach’s big, bustling Will Rogers Junior High School, where she resumed her career — teaching French and English — after following her parents and sisters out west to California.
“She was always on the lookout for a serious student, and she was a strong proponent of reading,” said her niece Jane Drever. “She would secretly supply me with books that were more advanced than my mother thought appropriate. Dorothy didn’t think there were any untouchable subjects as long as there was an adult around to answer questions.”
Back then, Chester B. (“Chet”) Lynd owned and operated Tire Specialists, a thriving automotive business located on Spring Street and Cherry Avenue in Long Beach. Although his formal education was cut short before he reached ninth grade, Mr. Lynd, like Dorothy Bittinger, was a devoted reader and lifelong learner. When the couple married, it was truly a meeting of the minds.
“They both loved to read and had many beautiful books in their office at home,” recalled Chet’s granddaughter Christine Goddard Jones, who said she was inspired by Mrs. Lynd’s love of languages and education to study French and eventually earn a college degree of her own.
After retiring from the classroom, Mrs. Lynd remained active in her community, serving as a member of the Long Beach Assistance League, the Long Beach Chapter of the P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) International, and the Rancho Bernardo Presbyterian Church.
As time passed and the Lynds began to think about designing their trust, they looked for a way to give back to Long Beach, the city that had brought them together and that had been their beloved home for so many years. Establishing the Dorothy and Chet Lynd Endowed Scholarship at California State University, Long Beach, allowed them to do that and would also give this education-minded couple the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of college students for generations to come.
“Dorothy spoke often about the decision,” recalled Ms. Drever. “She wanted to be sure that deserving students had opportunities, no matter what their backgrounds or resources. And our family is pleased to know that Dorothy and Chet’s bequest will assure college access at a time when higher education is so critical to a student’s future success.”
Ms. Drever described her aunt and uncle as “quite a pair — joined at the hip until Chet died.” With the creation of the Dorothy and Chet Lynd Endowed Scholarship, the Lynds will remain forever united in the minds and hearts of the many fortunate CSULB students who will benefit from the couple’s forward-looking generosity.