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Theresa Sell and Arthur Everett Pitcher

TheresaArthur Everett Pitcher was born on July 18, 1912, in Hanover, New Hampshire. His father was a professor of mathematics and his mother was a public school teacher of mathematics. His A.B. of 1932 is from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. of 1935 is from Harvard University, both in mathematics. After two research appointments he came to Lehigh University in 1938 for his “first possibly permanent job.” With interruptions for military service and research, he served for forty years until 1978, many as chairman of the department of mathematics.

Pitcher taught students who earned the first Lehigh Ph.D.s in mathematics and ushered through a total of nearly 100 doctoral candidates in his career. His field of research was critical point theory (also known as Morse Theory). After he retired from his professorship he continued his research, most recently on a problem known as the Poincaré Conjecture.

Pitcher was secretary of the American Mathematical Society for twenty-two years until 1988. He has two daughters. His wife, Theresa, was integral in encouraging the establishment of the Everett Pitcher Fund for the Propagation of Mathematics. The fund supports a lecture series, which brings visiting professors and distinguished lecturers to campus each year, and the A. Everett Pitcher Chair in Mathematics. Mrs. Pitcher passed away in 2001. Everett Pitcher passed away in December 2006.