Rev. Alfred Ryors, D.D., was born in Philadelphia, June 28, 1812. An orphan at a very early age, he was received into the family and select school of Rev. Robert Steel, at Abington, Pa. Ryors attended Jefferson College for two years, and then taught Latin and Greek in a private school. The school’s headmaster was a specialist in mathematics, and it was from him that Ryors acquired his interest in the subject. Ryors returned to Jefferson College, graduating in 1835. The next year he was tutor in Lafayette College, and in May 1836 was elected professor of mathematics at Ohio University, where he remained until 1843. In that year he became professor of mathematics in Indiana University. In 1848 he was elected president of Ohio University, and served in that office for four years. In 1852 he resigned, and the following year became the president of Indiana University, where only he served for one year. In 1853 he became professor of mathematics at Centre College, where he remained until his death on May 8, 1858.
Following his graduation in 1835, Ryors undertook private instruction in theology, and was licensed to preach by the Philadelphia Presbytery in 1838. At that time it was thought highly desirable that a professor also be a minister, not only to provide academic, but also moral and religious, guidance to students. While at Indiana University, Ryors preached to the Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, and at the request of the congregation, was regularly ordained as a Presbyterian minister by the Salem Presbytery in 1845. Ryors received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Indiana University.