Historical Information on Flint’s Big Brothers Organization
In 2015, Robert Ryder of Reston, Virginia, donated the papers of his late father, Joseph T. Ryder (1906-1979) to our University of Michigan-Flint Genesee Historical Collections Center.
These papers have been processed and are now available for researchers to access on-site.
Who was Joe Ryder? Joe was the person largely responsible for Flint, Michigan having a vibrant and successful Big Brother program.
Ryder came from the Toledo area to Flint in 1944 to direct the Flint Youth Bureau, a new program supported by the C. S. Mott Foundation.
For the next 35 years, he led the organization and its successor, Big Brother of Greater Flint, to provide guidance to underprivileged boys who typically were delinquent or had no father at home.
The collection provides ample documentation on the organization’s history, as well as his involvement in community education seminars held around the U.S., and on the national organization of Big Brothers.
(Click to enlarge any photo)
If you would like to learn more about Mr. Ryder and his association with the beginning of Flint’s Big Brothers organization, please contact our Archivist, Paul Gifford.
Better still, drop in and visit Paul at the Genesee Historical Archives to learn more about Mr. Ryder and other people and events which had an impact on our local, state and national development.
Genesee Historical Archives is located in the Frances Willson Thomopson Libray building, 2nd floor corridor (near the tube to UPAV).
Contact information and hours of operation for the Archive are available on the Thompson Library website at:
Information on the Archive’s finding aids and digital collections may be found at: