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David L. Underwood Memorial Lecture Award

Recipients of the Underwood Memorial Lecture Award emulate Dean Underwood's values and exhibit excellence in instruction and a genuine, humanistic concern for students, faculty, staff – and all of education.

Brief biography

David L. Underwood 

12/26/1925 – 3/16/1975 

David L. Underwood was born near Ava, Illinois, and moved to St. Louis in 1926.  He attended elementary and high schools in St. Louis and Desloge, Missouri.  Underwood served in the U.S. Navy during World War II (amphibious craft duty) and the Korean War (on the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard) and was a radio operator (RMIC).

 Following military service, Underwood enrolled at Central Missouri State College where he earned A.B. and B.S. degrees.  He earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri in 1951.  After graduation, he worked briefly at IBM Corporation. Underwood taught English in the Saint Louis Public Schools at McKinley and Beaumont High Schools until he was transferred to Southwest High School as head of the English Department.  In 1962, he became English department chairman at Beaumont High School. 

After teaching for the Junior College District on a part-time basis, Underwood joined the  FlorissantValley faculty in 1963 as an Associate Professor of English.  He served as chairman of the Communications-Humanities division and later associate Dean of Instruction.  He was appointed Dean of Instruction July 1, 1967, and served until his death in 1975.

 For three years, Underwood did a daily telecast for KETC-TV on "Advanced Composition and Literature." He also did a weekly program for KMOX-TV on "How to Write" and "Understanding Literature."

 On his early-1970s resume, Underwood listed his hobbies as reading, photography and farming.

Central Missouri State College

Selected Publications

“A New Direction for Television in Education,” Science Education, December, 1967, Volume 51, Number 5. With Bill G. Aldridge.

“Bird Watching in Johnson County, Missouri,“ in The Bluebird (Missouri state ornithological bulletin), 1947.

“College Organization and Administration: Some Faculty Views of Administration,” in Selected papers, 47th Annual Convention of American Association of Junior Colleges, 1967.

“Creativity in Instruction at Florissant Valley Community College,” in Audio Visual Instruction, September 1967, Volume 12, Number 7.

“How Teachers Can Use Television to Improve Instruction,” in Improvement of Teaching by Television, University of Missouri Press, 1964.

“Innovative Programs at Florissant Valley Community College,” in Humanizing Education in the Junior College, Proceedings of Inter-regional Conference, AAJC, September, 1970.

“New Movement Underway?” n.p.: American Vocational Journal, 1973. With James P. O’Grady, Jr.

Unpublished M.A. Thesis:  “Picaresque Elements in the Novels of Charles Dickens.”


St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 18 March 1975

UNDERWOOD, DAVID L., Sun., March 16, 1975, beloved husband of Annabelle Finnegan Underwood, dear father of Daniel and Kathleen (sic) Underwood, dear brother of Esther Hanke and Carl Underwood, our dear son-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, nephew and cousin.

Funeral from WHITE-MULLEN Mortuary, 118 N. Florissant Rd., Ferguson, Thurs., March 20, 9:30 a.m. to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Interment National Cemetery, Jefferson Barracks.  Mr. Underwood was Dean of Instructions [sic] of Florissant Valley Community College. Donations to David Underwood Scholarship Fund appreciated. Visitation after 7 p.m. Tues.

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery


   David L. Underwood

    RMN1  US Navy

    World War II


    Born Dec 26, 1925

    Died March 16, 1975

    Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery

    2900 Sheridan Road

    Saint Louis, Missouri

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000