John P. Ryan Papers 1923-1953

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US US-IaGG MS/MS 01.18

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John P. Ryan Papers 1923-1953




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Biographical history

John Patrick Ryan was a highly respected professor of Public Speaking at Grinnell College from 1903-1947. He was born in New York in 1877 and received his B.A. from Cornell University and his M.A. from the University of Chicago. He originally taught speech and drama within the Department of English at Grinnell College, but after encouraging the development of a Speech Department--one of the first in the country--he became the department head of Speech.
Two of his noted students were Hallie Flanagan Davis (Director of the Federal Theatre Project) and author and professor, Loren Reid. In addition to his college teaching, he taught public speaking to thousands of business and professional people in Des Moines. In 1936 he served as president to the precursor of the Speech Communication Association.Provenance: Donated by Jean Ryan Squires, 1982.

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Consists of notebooks containing records of the books Ryan read. His daughter, Jean, noted: “It shows his thoroughness, organization, and wide range of interest.” Only a few Lesson Plans are included in Ryan’s papers, including some for Fundamentals of Speech, Parliamentary Law, and one of his adult education classes in Des Moines. Correspondence includes two letters from Ryan to his daughter and son-in-law. The letter dated October 22, 1947 was “Ryan’s last letter written from Grinnell after retirement, and just before leaving to live on the West Coast.” [Jean Squires’ note] The typed letter was received after Ryan’s death by his wife from a Des Moines businessman who was a former member of Ryan’s classes there.

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Open for research.

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