Grace L. Ryan Collection,   1872-1969
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History

Biography:

Grace Laura Ryan (1894-1986) has been considered a pioneer in the field of Physical Education and dance. Following her 1923 graduation from Michigan State Normal School in Ypsilanti, Miss Ryan began a 35 year career in the Physical Education Department of Central Michigan Normal School. During this time she received her master's degree from Teacher's College, Columbia University (1931) and completed additional graduate work at Northwestern University and Sarah Lawrence College.

While teaching at Central, Miss Ryan had an impact on the Physical Education Department. She was instrumental in bringing about co-educational activities in Physical Education courses. She also stirred interest in American Folk dances by teaching courses and in 1926 publishing "Dances of Our Pioneers." In 1937, Miss Ryan incorporated a recreation minor into the physical education curriculum. While at Central, she became a recognized authority in the health, physical education and recreation fields, served in many associations, and received several awards and honors. In 1974, following her 1958 retirement, Central Michigan University dedicated Grace L. Ryan Hall in her honor.

Some of her books and music are separately cataloged on the Libraries’ catalog. The ones which required original cataloging were left in this collection to facilitate their access by researchers.