In the history of the College, it’s well known that a sizeable number of graduates have gone on to accomplish historic roles — including becoming the Vice President of the United States, pioneering medical advances and manning Space Shuttle missions for NASA. The same can be said about many members of the faculty.
Cecil Harland Underwood was born on Nov. 5, 1922, in the small, unincorporated community of Josephs Mills, W.Va., in Tyler County, where he grew up working on farms during the Great Depression.
After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps during World War II and also enrolled at Salem College in nearby Harrison County. It was at Salem where he received his first taste of politics when he was elected student body president. He also met a young woman named Hovah Hall, a sister to two of his classmates and a graduate of Salem. He married Hovah, who was a talented musician, on July 25, 1948. They had three children: Craig, Cecilia and Sharon.