Elihu Daniel Ryden

1900 - 1989

Elihu Ryden, a violinist, graduated from Atlantic Union College in 1926 with a degree in religion. Although he was a social studies teacher and served for several years as a popular dean of men at Southwestern Junior College, later Southwestern Adventist University, and at Emmanuel Missionary College, later Andrews University, he was active as an orchestral musician, playing in orchestras in Waltham, Massachusetts, and South Bend, Indiana.

Ryden was born in Sweden and while at AUC met and married Florence Schwab, an accomplished pianist. She would teach in the music department at both SWJC and EMC and also accompany him when he performed as a soloist.

He was hired by SWJC in 1926 to teach history and civics, serve as preceptor (dean) for the men, teach violin, and direct the orchestra. He observed in the 1927 SWJC yearbook, Mizpah, "Language is not subtle enough, tender enough, to express all we feel, and when language fails, the brightest and deepest longings are translated into music." He was a demanding director and respected for both his conducting and artistry on the violin.

He led directed the SWJC orchestra until he left in 1935 for a year of graduate study at the University of Oklahoma. At the end of that year he was hired to teach social studies and be the dean of men at EMC. Ryden completed a master's degree the following year and worked on a doctorate at the University of Michigan in the 1940s.


Sources: 1940 Cardinal, EMC yearbook, Atlantic Union Gleaner, 8 September 1926, 8; 1927 Mizpah, SWJC yearbook; 1930 U.S. Census.