Frederick Cornelius Leonard Van Steenderen obtained his undergraduate degree from Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1890. He received his master’s degree at Penn College in 1892 and his Ph.D at the University of Iowa in 1905.
In 1906,Van Steenderen was hired by Lake Forest College as a professor of romance languages. Prior to this position, Van Steenderen was an instructor of modern languages at the Vianen Institute, Racine College Grammar School, Penn College, the State University of Iowa and Lake Forest Academy. He published a number of academic and literary works throughout his life. Van Steenderen was a member of the Modern Language Association of America, Algemen Niederlansch Verbond and the Alliance Francaise.