Dr. Jack McBride Ryder, second president of Saginaw Valley State
College was born December 2, 1928, in Newport, Kentucky. He graduated
in 1947 from Bellevue High School, Bellevue, Kentucky. After serving
24 months in the United States Army, he enrolled
at Michigan State University, graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor
of Science degree. Following graduation he served as teacher and principal
of the Anglo-American Schools in Athens, Greece for two years. In 1954 he returned
to MSU earning his Masters of Educational Administration in 1955, graduating with high honors. He was inducted into membership of Phi Kappa
Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, and Phi Delta Kappa and won a Hinman Graduate
Fellowship in 1961. He continued at MSU and completed his PhD in Educational Administration in 1962.
Dr. Ryder was
superintendent of Brady Community Schools, Saginaw County, from
1955 to 1957, becoming a member of the Saginaw County School Administrators
Association. From 1957 to 1961, Dr. Ryder served as Superintendant of Schools in Cassopolis, Michigan. In 1961 he became an assistant instructor in
the MSU College of Education, and in 1962 was named Assistant to
the Dean of University Extension Administration with the rank of
associate professor at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana. In
1963 Dr. Ryder was named director
of Purdue University's Indianapolis campus. During the period of January 1964
to October 1965, on part-time loan from Purdue, he was interim director of the Indiana Vocational Technical College, a new institution
created by the State of Indiana to provide vocational technical
education at the post high school level. In February 1969 he became Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Indiana University-Purdue University
(IUPUI) joint campus at Indianapolis, with the rank of full professor in higher education. In 1970 Dr. Ryder was appointed Vice Chancellor and Dean
for Administrative Affairs of the IUPUI campus, the position
he held when he was named President of Saginaw Valley State College in October
of 1974. He assumed full-time duties at SVSC on November 1, 1974, succeeding SVSC President Sam Marble.
While Dr. Marble's
term was considered SVSU's founding years, growth was the hallmark during Ryder's tenure. A total of eight facilities costing over $55.2 million were constructed. Among the buildings were
Pioneer Hall, Administrative Services Building, Pine Grove
Apartments, Melvin J. Zahnow Library, Science Building, Brown Hall, Arbury Fine Arts Center,
and the Center for Health and Physical Education Center, as well as the development and expansion of athletic facilities, including a major renovation of the football stadium and construction of a new track and field facility.
Programming also experienced growth, among which was the initiation of an engineering program, enhancement of nursing to the baccalaureate level, and the major expansion of international exchange of faculty and students. The faculty at the college grew by 120% and student enrollment by 155%, from 2,350 to 6,000 students. Due to Dr. Ryder's leadership in gaining university status in 1987, Saginaw Valley State College became Saginaw Valley State University along with Grand Valley State, Ferris State and Lake Superior State. One of the major outstanding achievements of Dr. Ryder's term as president was securing the works of internationally renowned sculptor, Marshall M. Fredericks, which are now housed in the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum on the SVSU campus.
In 1989, the 202,184 square foot, $18.7 million Ryder Center for Health and Physical Education, featuring an Olympic size swimming pool, classrooms, handball and racquetball courts, fitness center and a 4,000-seat basketball arena was named in dedication to Dr. Jack M. and Lila Ryder upon his retirement from the presidency in 1989. Dr. Ryder taught in the College of Education until his retirement from the university in December 1991.
The Inauguration of Jack McBride Ryder as the Second President of
Saginaw Valley State University program, 9/19/75; The Valley
Vanguard, 3/12/01; The Saginaw News 4/23/89.