February 03, 2022

In Remembrance: Jack D. Street, Professor Emeritus of French

Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages and Literatures Jack Street was a Beloit treasure — a teacher and scholar known for his kindness, high standards, and dedication to the college. He died Sept. 12, 2021, at age 92 after a brief illness.

Jack D. Street, Professor Emeritus of French Jack D. Street, Professor Emeritus of French
Credit: Beloit College Archives

Over a 54-year teaching career, from 1961 to 2015, he shared his knowledge of French and Italian languages, film, and literature with more than 2,000 Beloit students, often earning a top spot on their lists of favorite professors.

At his retirement, he held the Harry C. Moore Chair in Modern Languages. His scholarship included French literature, theatre, and cinema, and the use of French in the Valle d’Aosta French enclave in Italy.

He believed that learning a language was central to a liberal arts education, and he lived that ideal by speaking four languages fluently. He was also a citizen of the world, having lived, researched, and taught abroad, with long-term residencies in France, Italy, and Mexico. A remarkable individual who rode his bike to his campus office into his late 80s, he mentored and checked in with colleagues and former students long after his official retirement.

He loved Beloit College and gave back in countless ways, including chairing the modern languages and literatures department from 1975 to 1997, founding the college’s first study-abroad seminar in Rennes, France, and directing it more than a dozen times, and establishing three of the department’s language prizes and a scholarship for students studying foreign languages.

In 2016, he was inducted into the French Republic’s prestigious Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of the French Academic Palms), the oldest non-military French decoration. He was also elected to serve as national vice president of Phi Sigma Iota, the international foreign languages honor society. In 1997, the Beloit College Alumni Association named him an honorary alumnus.

Survivors include his son, Mark, and two granddaughters. He was predeceased by his wife, Sonia Moncada Street, and son, Stephen Moncada Street’77.

Gifts in his honor can be directed to the Professor Jack Street Endowed Scholarship Fund at Beloit College.

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