David began his sixty-year association with Principia as a student in the Lower School. Always admired for his strong leadership abilities, he served as student commandant of the cadet corps at the Upper School and president of the student body while at Principia College. In addition, his athletic experiences—which included being a member of the undefeated 1933 College football team—were extensive and significant to him becoming a lifelong character educator.
David served Principia School in many roles including houseparent, teacher, coach, principal, and headmaster. In 1961—forty years after first coming to Principia as a student—David became president of both Principia campuses and remained in this position for twenty years.
David was widely known for his civic and professional contributions. He won a Distinguished Citizen of the Year award from Piasa Bird Council and the Boy Scouts of America, having served as president of the local council. He was a board member of Pride, Inc., an Alton-area beautification organization and chaired the Schools Committee of the Greater Alton Association of Commerce. He was a member of the American Association for Higher Education and a member—and eventually president—of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities. In 1966, he became the founding member of the Mississippi Valley College Association, an idea-exchange group comprised of eight colleges in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.
After his formal retirement from Principia in 1981, he and his wife Helen (Hance, C'38) continued to reside in Elsah. David remained active as an advisor for the College’s Public Affairs Conference and taught many Principia adult learning courses during Summer and Autumn Sessions.
At the time of his passing in 1993, Principia’s Chairman of the Board Dawn Larmer remarked, "The many avenues which David Andrews found to show his understanding and appreciation of the Principia idea are legion. His leadership was strong, principled, clear, absolutely based on spiritual conviction. . . . Gifted in problem solving, intuitive in personnel matters, steadfast in the upholding of ethics and morals, David Andrews performed his vital roles with love, grace, humor, and intelligence. . . . With hearts full of love, we applaud his accomplishments."