Richard Patrick Ruhland was born on September 29, 1950 in Denver, Colorado. He spent his formative years there. During his junior year of high school his family moved to New Jersey. Immediately after graduation from high school the family moved to Michigan. He attended Oakland Community College and majored in Business. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He married Pat Cusac in Detroit, Michigan in July 1972. They were blessed with a daughter and a son.
Advancing on a career path in the restaurant field he worked his way into various management positions with local restaurant chains. In 1977 he began a career with the General Motors Corporation as a First Line Production Supervisor. After a series of promotions, he moved into his current position as senior Manufacturing Engineer at the Powertrain Manufacturing facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
He became interested in Masonry because of his attendance during a 1991 Shrine parade in Phoenix, Arizona. He was impressed with the membership’s interest in children. He was raised as a Master Mason in Wayne Lodge No. 112 in Westland, Michigan on April 25, 1992. He served his Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1999 and became a Pre-Paid member in 2001. He also served as President of the Masonic Masters Association of South East Michigan in 1999. In search of further light in Masonry, he joined Wayne Chapter No. 182 Royal Arch Masons, Northville Council No. 30 Royal & Select Masons, Northville Commandery No. 39 Knights Templar, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Detroit, Moslem Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S., Nankin Chapter No. 238 Order of the Eastern Star, York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Prince Edwin No. 8, Crusader Council of Allied Masonic Degrees No. 142 and is a plural member of Britannia Lodge No. 601. He has the extreme honor of being an honorary member of Lake City Lodge No. 408, Waybon No. 305, Saline Lodge No. 133, Garden City-Builders Lodge No. 587, Buchanan No. 68, and Union of Strict Observance No. 3 and High Twelve International Mid-Michigan Club No. 602. With extreme pride he received the DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor and was commissioned with the Title of Knight Commander of the Temple from the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States and the Rainbow Grand Cross of Color. He was duly elected and installed as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Michigan on May 26, 2005.
Grand Master Ruhland is a planner, organizer, and in some respects a futurist and takes great pride in bringing ideas and projects into fruition. He feels his Masonic affiliation has given him the opportunity to utilize his skills in these areas to further benefit this fraternity. He is humbled by the outpouring of support from all the men and women of this great Masonic family.
During his term of office he rededicated the Masonic Health Care Center in Alma on July 20, 2005. It is now called the Jack F. Sanders Health Care Center. He also developed the new Masonic Festival at the Michigan Masonic Home in Alma. He introduced the MI CHIP, Michigan Child Identification Program and the Pocket Petition. Also, a decision was made by the Grand Lodge Board of Directors to move the Grand Lodge office from Grand Rapids to Alma. It was dedicated on January 28, 2006. Throughout his term, he spearheaded the following initiatives: 1) he worked with Grand Lodge Officers and others to merge the Michigan Masonic Home Charitable Foundation with the Masonic Foundation of Michigan, Inc.; 2) he organized and led a drive to seek property tax relief for Michigan Masonic Lodges; 3) he helped raise $10,000 in sponsorships for the 2006 Grand Lodge Golf Outing; and 4) during his watch, he helped to recruit fifty-one new members of the Lewis Cass Society. The members of this Society pledge assets in their estate plans to the Masonic Foundations.
His term of office ended in the closing hours of the 180th Annual Communication in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 24, 2006.