Kenneth Street, professor emeritus of political science at Austin College, died December 6, 2017, at age 90.
During a noteworthy career that spanned nearly 40 years, he prepared young men and women for careers in law and government. He taught on many topics, with special emphasis on Constitutional law, the presidency, the legislative process, political parties and political theory.
A Texas native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in geology at Texas Tech University. He and his wife Louise, who died in October 2013, married in 1950. They began their married life with Street serving as a teacher, coach and principal in public schools.
A few years later, he returned to Texas Tech to earn his master’s degree in government. He spent a year teaching political science at Wichita State University before earning his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin.
Street joined the Austin College faculty in 1959, teaching political science. He held the John D. Moseley Chair of Government and Public Policy from its establishment in 1981 until his retirement in 1998, retiring as professor emeritus of political science.
In addition to his teaching duties, Street was a longtime pre-law adviser who regularly arranged student internship opportunities in Austin, Dallas and Washington, D.C. During his tenure, he served as chair of the Political Science Department, as well as chair, associate dean, and dean of Social Sciences.
Additionally, Street served on various steering committees, was a member of the College Council, chaired the President’s Committee on Institutional Integrity, and served as director of the Community Services Program and the Social Science Laboratory.
Named as a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor of the Year, Street also received numerous honors from Austin College, including the 1993 Homer P. Rainey Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service, and the 1996 Excellence in Teaching Award.
He has been honored with the naming of the College’s annual Kenneth W. Street Law Symposium, and the College’s facilities for its mock trial program, the Kenneth W. Street Advocacy Courtroom.
His career also included writing for numerous professional publications and presenting speeches at many colleges and universities. He has been active in several professional organizations and honorary societies.
Street and his late wife, Louise, raised their children, Cheryl and Kenneth, in Sherman. He was active for many years as a consultant to the Goals for Sherman program, serving as a member of the writing team that wrote the city’s goals.
“Dr. Street made a tremendous impact on my life, and the same is true for legions of other students,” said Osler McCarthy, staff attorney and spokesperson for the Texas Supreme Court in Austin. “The significance he had in shaping our intellectual thinking, motivation and goals cannot be overstated.”
Alumni and friends have funded the Kenneth W. Street Endowed Presidential Scholarship at Austin College in recognition of his career.
Burial will be at 1 p.m. December 15 in Dickens, and a memorial service will be held December 18 in Wynn Chapel at Austin College, at a time yet to be determined. Memorials may be made to Austin College.