Walter Scott Ryder was born on March 11, 1892 in Boston. He attended Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada), 1910-1915, from which he earned an A. B. from (1915).
In June 1915, Ryder was ordained a Baptist minister. He served as the minister of a Havelock Baptist Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 1915-1916. He also performed marriages, baptisms, and funerals, 1919-1921. His B.D. thesis was entitled “the Labor Church Movement of Canada” (1920).
From 1916 to 1921 Ryder lived and studied in Parma, New York. He then earned a B.D. from Colgate Divinity School (now Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, and an A.M. from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). The title of his A.M. thesis was “Canada’s Industrial Crisis of 1919” (1920).
Ryder also earned a Ph.D. in Economics and Sociology from the University of Chicago (1928) and a LL.B. from LaSalle University. After earning his LL.B., Ryder was admitted to the Bar in the State of Michigan.
In 1927 Ryder went to work at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) as head of the Sociology Department. He also wrote a book that year entitled, Men and Religion. He lived in St. Paul through part of 1934.
Ryder moved to Flint, Michigan, in 1934 and lived there until 1942. While in Michigan, he earned a certificate in social welfare work from the University of Michigan (UM).
On September 28, 1942 he accepted a position as an assistant professor in the Department of History and Social Science at Central Michigan College (now University, CMU). A year later he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. By 1955 Ryder was a professor of economics and chair of the Public Affairs Committee.
He had been appointed a study fellow at the UM for the summer of 1956. Ryder had planned to use the fellowship to finish a book on consumer economics. However, he died before he could use the fellowship in May 1956.
Ryder married Alice Mae (maiden surname unknown) probably around 1917. She was born in New Brunswick (Canada) on September 7, 1892. The Ryders were members of the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Together they had a son, John Ryder. Alice lived in Mount Pleasant from 1942 until September 1972 when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, with her son. Alice died on February 15, 1973 and was survived by two sisters, her son and three grandchildren.
John Ryder graduated from CMU in 1947 with a music degree. He was very active while at CMU, serving as sports editor of CMULife, as a member of the A Cappella choir, the marching band, a dance band, a Glee Club accompanist, a member of Tau Alpha Upsilon fraternity, and as editor of the Appleblossom. He also worked as a correspondent of the Saginaw News. He later married and had three children. (This information is from the collection.)