In memoriam: Nicholas Street ’53
The 2022 recipient of the university’s highest honor was a leader in business, service, and philanthropy.
Nicholas Street, a namesake of the Street and Davis Performance Hall within the Moss Arts Center, recipient of Virginia Tech’s Ut Prosim Medal, and member of the university’s Class of 1953, died at age 91 on Feb. 4 at his home in Naples, Florida.
“Leadership and service were the hallmarks of Nick’s remarkable life, and he served his family, his country, his community, and his alma mater with honor and devotion,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “His philanthropy and guidance were transformative for our university and the many lives he touched, and we are deeply grateful.”
After graduating from Grundy High School in Southwest Virginia, Street enrolled at what was then Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets and served in the U.S. Air Force in both active and reserve roles.
Street went on to earn a law degree from the University of Richmond and returned to Grundy, where he established the Street, Street, & Street firm with his brothers, H.A. and Eugene. He was a founding partner in United Coal Company and later The United Company. He retired in 2009 after a rewarding and successful career in the law and energy fields.
Street stayed engaged with Virginia Tech by serving on the Class of ’53 Reunion Committee, the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund board of directors, and the Corps Leadership and Military Science Committee, along with other volunteer leadership roles. Along with his family, he was an extraordinarily generous supporter of multiple areas of the university, including athletics, the arts, the Corps of Cadets, Pamplin College of Business, and more.
Street and his wife, Fay Street, were among the inaugural group of Foremost Benefactors honored by having their names installed within the Burruss Hall Atrium in 2019. In May 2022, Street was honored with the Ut Prosim Medal, the university’s highest honor.
“Our cadets really appreciate the engagement that Nick, Fay, and the family have given to the corps over the years,” said Maj. Gen. Randal Fullhart, commandant of the Corps of Cadets. “He will continue to serve as a role model for our students. Nick was the complete package and the epitome of what we hope all of our graduates will do — to leave here, to serve in many different ways, and to give back to the alma mater."
In 2013, the university announced the naming of the Street and Davis Performance Hall, an 84,000-square-foot, primary space within what opened later that year as the Moss Arts Center.
“Nick and Fay’s support came at a crucial time for the arts at Virginia Tech and helped make possible a facility that has brought high-impact arts experiences to thousands upon thousands of people over the past nine years, including schoolchildren from throughout Southwest Virginia,” said Ruth Waalkes, Virginia Tech associate provost for the arts and Moss Arts Center executive director.
Also in 2013, the university named the W.A. and Mae Street Olympic Sports Complex for Street’s parents, in recognition of generosity to the athletics by Street and multiple members of his extended family. Street’s generosity to Hokie Sports continued for years afterward.
“Thousands of student athletes have benefitted from the generosity of Nick, Fay, and their family,” said Whit Babcock, the university’s director of athletics. “By supporting scholarships and dramatic improvement to our facilities, they have helped an extraordinary range of individuals and teams, and our hearts go out to them. Nick is dearly missed, and will always be remembered at Virginia Tech.”
Nicholas Street’s survivors include his wife, Fay H. Street; sons Robert D. Street and David A. Street; and daughter, Lauren Street Wagner.