Brother Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V. Papers
Biographical Note / Scope & Content Note

Biographical Note

Leo V. Ryan was born on April 6, 1927 in Waukon, Iowa. After serving in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II, Ryan received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Marquette University.

Discerning a vocation to the religious life, Ryan joined the Clerics of St. Viator, professing his first vows in 1950 and his perpetual vows in 1955. Brother Ryan continued his education, receiving a MBA from DePaul University and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University's School of Commerce and Finance.

Brother Ryan embarked on a long life of service. His primary service was in education where he taught at the high school and university levels. He taught Industrial Management at Marquette University from 1957-1965 and was responsible for establishing its new school of continuing education. Brother Ryan served as dean of the business schools at Notre Dame (1975-1980) and DePaul University (1980-1988). From 1991-2001 he spent considerable time teaching in Finland and Poland.

Brother Ryan's service extended to his religious order. He was a member of the General Council in Rome and served as the Chicago Province's director of education. In 1972 he became the first president of St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Brother Ryan also served the wider Catholic Church; for example, helping the U.S. Bishops to write their Pastoral on Catholic Education.

Brother Ryan also served his country. In the mid-late 1960s he held prominent positions in the United States Peace Corps in Africa.

A tireless worker, Brother Ryan found time to serve on many boards of directors. He put his business acumen to use as a consultant/advisor to many institutions, both secular and religious.

An avid traveler, Brother Ryan visited most of the world's nations at some point in his long life. Many of these trips were funded by grateful individuals or organizations that he had helped.

Brother Ryan died on June 22, 2016, aged 89.


Scope & Content

Brother Leo V. Ryan, CSV lived a life of service. The collection is organized around that principle. It is divided into fifteen series, most of them reflecting some aspect of Brother Ryan's service.

Series 1: Publications, 1939-2016, undated (6.0 cubic feet), contains copies of Brother Ryan's vast literary output, based on a bibliography he assembled in his later years. It is arranged by type of publication and then chronologically under each type. The series does not contain the travelogues that Brother Ryan published in the Waukon Journal. These can be found in Series 15. Books written by Brother Ryan were separated from the collection but can be found by searching Marquette's online public access catalog MARQCAT.

Series 2: Presentations and speeches, 1953-2012, undated (2.1 cubic feet), contains copies of Brother Ryan's professional presentations as well as public remarks he delivered at a variety of events. They are arranged chronologically. Also included in this series are prayers and invocations he delivered in public.

Series 3: Personal correspondence, 1945-2015 (0.9 cubic feet) contains letters from friends and notable figures in files that Brother Ryan kept chronologically. There is a smaller collection of letters organized by correspondents' names. At the end of the series are Brother Ryan's Christmas Letters that he traditionally sent out each year and which provide good summaries of his activities. 

Series 4: Personal reflections, circa 2016 (0.2 cubic feet) consists of a series of personal essays that Ryan composed at the end of his life, reflecting on important moments, key relationships, and significant individuals. Also included in this series is a folder of selected cover letters to Marquette that accompanied shipments of records. In these letters Brother Ryan often expounded upon events in his life and may have provided details and anecdotes that are not present elsewhere in the collection.

Series 5: Personal calendars, 1968-2016 (2.3 cubic feet), contains a variety of day planners and calendar books tracking Brother Ryan's scheduled activities, beginning in the late 1960s and continuing until his death. Some years are better documented than others. The level of detail varies across the years.

Series 6: Curricula vitae, 1960-2010 (0.2 cubic feet), consists of Brother Ryan's evolving curriculum vita, the academic equivalent of a resume. He continually updated his "CV" but kept the older versions. They record his professional progress at different points in his life.

Series 7: Early life and education, 1934-1958, undated (0.2 cubic feet), contains a very small amount of material on Brother Ryan's early life and schooling. Additional information may be found in the scrapbooks in Series 15.

Series 8: Military service, 1945-1946 (1.1 cubic feet) documents Ryan's service in the U.S. Army during and immediately after World War II, especially his involvement in the atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll. The series also contains information about the U.S.S. McKinley Association, which consisted of veterans who served on the vessel. Brother Ryan was active in the organization.

Series 9: Academic service, 1957-2005 (2.5 cubic feet) documents Brother Leo's service at three universities: Marquette, Notre Dame, and DePaul. The files are arranged by university and then chronologically thereunder. The archives at Notre Dame and DePaul may hold additional records about Brother Ryan. Additional material may also be found within the University Records here at Marquette. At the end of this series are files describing Brother Ryan's temporary appointments to teach at other institutions. 

Series 10: Peace Corps service, 1960-1973, undated (1.5 cubic feet) has files covering Brother Ryan's appointments in the Peace Corps.

Series 11: Professional service, 1958-2007 (7.2 cubic feet) documents Brother Ryan's role as a consultant or advisor who brought his expertise in business or education to bear on behalf of a variety of institutions, secular and religious. Of particular note is his work on the U.S. Bishops Pastoral on Catholic Education.

Series 12: Viatorian service, 1951-2006 (2.1 cubic feet) contains files on Brother Ryan's many years of service to his religious order, the Clerics of St. Viator. Additional records are located in the Viatorian Community Archives in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Series 13: Awards and honors, 1943-2008, undated (1.1 cubic feet) records many of the accolades Brother Ryan received. If an award was a 3-dimensional object, the item was photographed and then discarded.

Series 14: Press clippings and scrapbooks/albums, 1936-2016 (5.3 cubic feet) contains clippings from newspapers where Brother Ryan is mentioned. The series also has nineteen scrapbooks that he assembled during his lifetime.

Series 15: Hobbies, 1939-2012 (2.1 cubic feet) documents Brother Ryan's two major hobbies: Stamp collecting and world travel. He kept detailed diaries on some of his international trips.