Early life and education
Born June 23, 1812, Ryors was orphaned at an early age. He lived with family friends until 1823, when he began studying with the Presbyterian Church in preparation for ministry. In 1831, he entered Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, where he studied for two years before leaving to teach Latin and Greek in the School of C.J. Halderman, at Bristol, Pennsylvania. He returned to Jefferson College in 1834 and graduated in 1835. 
Upon receipt of his degree, Ryors accepted an appointment as Principal of the Academic Department in Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, a position he held for one year before moving on to Ohio University, where he taught mathematics. He remained in Ohio until 1843, when he accepted a professorship at Indiana University, again teaching mathematics. Here he stayed until 1848, when he returned to Ohio University to serve as its president. 
Tenure at Indiana University
Faced with the death of its first president in 1851, Indiana University sought to fill the presidency with Ryors. Ryors accepted, resigned his position at Ohio University and returned to Bloomington the fall of 1852. Disappointed with conditions at the university, Ryors resigned in 1853 and went on to become professor of mathematics at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, a position he held until his death in 1858.
- Wylie, Theophilus A. (1890). Indiana University, Its History from 1820, when Founded, to 1890, with Biographical Sketches of Its Presidents, Professors and Graduates, and a List of Its Students from 1820 to 1887. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wm. A. Burford.
William Holmes McGuffey
|President of Ohio University
1848 – 1852
Andrew Wylie (IU)
|President of Indiana University
1852 – 1853
William Mitchel Daily