Biographies > Oberlin College
Raymond Tyson Moyer was born on August 20, 1899 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. He entered Oberlin College in 1917 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1921. While a student at Oberlin, Moyer was deeply influenced by his college courses in religion. The ideal of service that he developed during this time dominated his life.
Following his graduation, Moyer was sent by the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association (OSMA) to teach English and head the athletics program at the Ming Hsien Christian school in Taigu, Shanxi Province, China. Following his two years of service as an OSMA representative, Moyer returned to the United States where he pursued graduate studies in agriculture. His knowledge of Shanxi Province, concern for the plight of the farmers, and his budding interest in agriculture, led OSMA to name Moyer head of the new agricultural department at Ming Hsien. After studying at Colorado State Agricultural College, 1925-26, and Cornell University, where he received the M.S.A. degree in 1927, Moyer returned to Taigu. There he established an agricultural program aimed at improving the farming methods of rural Shanxi province. This agricultural program would later become the Shanxi Agricultural University.
In 1939, Moyer returned to the United States to complete doctoral studies at Cornell University. He received a Ph.D. in agronomy in 1941. Although he intended to return to China, World War II effectively interrupted and ended Moyer's formal relationship with the Ming Hsien school.
Moyer spent the next several years working in various capacities for the United States government. From 1948-51 Moyer was a member of the Sino-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction. In 1950-51 Moyer also served as director of the U.S. Economic Aid Mission in Taiwan.
During the 1950s, Moyer continued to develop his commitment to foreign economic reform by working for the Ford Foundation, 1951-53, and the International Cooperation Administration (ICA), 1953-59.In 1959, the ICA appointed him Director of the U.S. Economic Aid Mission in South Korea, a position he held until his retirement in 1961.
Moyer came out of retirement in 1964 to work on agricultural improvements in the Helmand Valley region of Afghanistan. This work was started under the J. G. White Engineering Corporation; in 1966 Moyer transferred to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Moyer retired for a second time in 1968.
In 1927, Moyer married Dorothy Brown Tschiffely (1904-89), whom he had met while a student at Colorado State Agricultural College. They had three daughters, and Dorothy Moyer and their children often accompanied Moyer to his various posts in Asia and the Middle East. Raymond Tyson Moyer died at age 94 at his home in Stonington Connecticut.
For more information, see: Oberlin College Archives
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