Seven alumni honored as Virginia Tech starts | VTx

about recipients

Nicholas de Street ’53, Haute Prosem medallion

Born in southwest Virginia, Nicholas D. Street was born in 1931 in Washington and Frankie May Street. He spent his childhood in Grundy, Virginia with his close-knit family of seven siblings.

Street graduated from Grundy High School in 1949 before enrolling at what was then Virginia Polytechnic. He was a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Street proudly served his country through four years of active service in the United States Air Force and additional years in the Air Force Reserve. His love for aviation took root, and he continued to fly for many years in both personal and corporate roles.

Also graduating from University of Richmond Law School, Street returned to Grundy in the early 1960s, where he established a law firm with two of his brothers. He was also involved in the coal industry and was a founding partner of the United Coal Company. He had rewarding and successful careers in the fields of law and energy, eventually retiring in 2009.

Street has always been an advocate for his beloved hometown and southwest Virginia in general. Through his quiet personal giving and that of the United Company Foundation, Street has championed causes for education, the arts, medical care, and of course Virginia Tech, for the benefit of many over the years.

Regina Duggan 84, Outstanding University Achievement Award

Regina E. Duggan is President and CEO of Wellcome Leap Inc.

She is an internationally recognized business executive, producer, artist, task manager, and product developer. Dugan has led world-class global teams and efforts ranging from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars to deliver great products at Facebook, Google, and Motorola. She was the nineteenth director and the first woman to lead the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Fortune magazine described Duggan as one of the world’s leading experts in product innovation, “the kind that transforms old ways of operating, leads to competition, and creates new growth.” She has been named to the Verge 50 List, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000, CNN’s Top 10 Thinkers, and CNBC’s NEXT LIST. As an executive producer, she has received four Annie Awards, an Emmy Award, and one Academy Award nomination.

She holds a Ph.D. She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech, where she was a Distinguished Alumni (one of 256 historical honorees including Carver Mead and Gordon Moore), and her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Virginia Tech, where she was entered into the Academy of Engineering Excellence.

Hoda Kotb 86- Distinguished University Achievement Award

Hoda Kotb is the co-anchor of NBC News TODAY and co-host of TODAY’s Fourth Hour.

Kotb joined NBC News in 1998 as a reporter for Dateline NBC. While on NBC News, Kotb was honored with Emmy Awards, a Gracie Award, and an Edward R. Murrow Award. She is also the presenter of “The Hoda Show on SiriusXM”. Kotb began her radio career in local news, reporting for stations in New Orleans and Fort Myers, Florida.

Prior to joining NBC News, Kotb worked at WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, as a broadcaster and reporter and was a weekend anchor and reporter for WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Florida.

Kotb graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in broadcast journalism. She welcomed her first daughter, Haley Joy, in February 2017 and her second daughter, Hope Katherine, in April 2019. She resides in New York City.

H. Pat Artis ’71, Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2021)

More than 50 years after graduating from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences and mechanics, Pat Artis’ love for his university has not wavered.

Artis serves on the campaign’s steering committee for the College of Engineering and previously chaired the college’s advisory board. Artis and his wife, Nancy, are members of the Legacy Society and Ut Prosim President’s Circle, and he serves as Professor of Practice in the Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and as a board member of the Apex Entrepreneur Center as well as with the Virginia Tech Alumni Corps of Students.

Artises made a gift to the University for the opening of the Liviu Librescu Center for Student Engagement in Norris Hall; provided funding for students to take courses at the National Experimental Experimental School in Mojave, California; And although Artis was never a member when he was a student, he and Nancy created the Bargawi Scholarship for Rookie Leaders ’09/Artis ’72 for the Corps of Cadet. In addition, Artises awarded a named scholarship to the VTC Medical School and designated spaces in both the Command and Military Science Building and an undergraduate teaching lab for the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.

After graduating in 1971, Artis loved experimental mechanics and left Virginia Tech with experience in computers and software engineering. This would catalyze a very successful career, starting with Bell Laboratories developing computer measurement technologies. Artis returned to Virginia in 1981 to join Morino Associates, a startup software company, where he led computer performance assessment product development teams.

In 1986, he went on his own, founding Performance Associates Inc. , which focused on the characterization and performance of storage subsystems. In the more than three decades since, Colorado-based Performance has developed new industry standard tools for characterizing and testing storage performance, reliability, and replication.

Michael J. Quillen ’70, Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2021)

Michael Quillen has spent decades leading in the energy industry and serving as a volunteer leader in his community and at his alma mater. He founded Alpha Natural Resources in 2002 and served as the company’s first CEO, leading it through its rapid expansion.

Under his leadership, Alpha Natural Resources has grown into a Fortune 500 company with thousands of employees. Quillen has also contributed to the growth and success of Virginia Tech through his service and philanthropic work.

He is a past chair of the Visitors Council, serves on the steering committee for Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech, and is a member of the President’s Circle within the Ut Prosim community, which represents Virginia Tech’s most generous benefactor. Quillen was awarded the university’s highest honor, the Ruffner Medal, in 2020.

Quillen is a member of the College of Engineering’s 100-member committee, and was awarded the College’s Distinguished Alumni title in 2006.

Besides his service at Virginia Tech, Quillen is deeply involved in promoting Virginia’s economic prosperity. He is a past president and current member of the Go Virginia Region One Board of Directors, spanning 13 counties in the far southwest of the Commonwealth, as well as chair of the SWVA Energy Advisory Board and advisor to Invest SWVA, where he dedicates significant time to economic development in the region.

John E. Dooley 94, Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2022)

John E. Dooley has retired as CEO of Virginia Tech Foundation Inc. in 2021.

He served as the Foundation’s CEO for nine years and provided leadership and management for maximizing Virginia Tech’s private assets in support of undergraduate programs and initiatives. Under his leadership, the foundation’s endowment more than doubled to $1.7 billion and the foundation’s assets grew to $2.7 billion.

Prior to becoming CEO, Dooley worked for 10 years as Vice President of Communications and International Affairs. During his tenure as Vice President, Virginia Tech sought to achieve a strong global presence by more than tripling the number of students studying abroad annually, growing its active sponsored international research and development portfolio to more than $70 million, and establishing five international centers.

He has also been an active member of the Virginia Tech community through numerous committees and special projects. He has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Board of GO Virginia Region 2, Onward NRV, and Special Love Inc. and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

A native of Summersville, West Virginia, Dooley graduated from Alderson Broadus University with a degree in Elementary Education. He holds a master’s and doctoral degrees. at Virginia Tech. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Blacksburg and have three daughters and five grandchildren.

James “Jim” Watkins 71, Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2022)

James “Jim” Watkins, born in Reedsville, North Carolina, and raised in Newport News, Virginia, is an experienced general dentist, veteran, and hockey graduate.

He graduated in 1967 from GW Carver High School as a valedictorian in the class before entering Virginia Tech, graduating in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He attended what was then Virginia Medical School and graduated in 1975 with a doctorate in dental surgery.

Watkins served on active duty in the US Navy Dental Corps from 1975-77 and served 22 years in the US Navy Reserves. He retired as a captain in 2002 after holding officer positions at Naval Base Norfolk Dental and Bethesda Dental Clinic in Maryland.

He also served 20 years on the Virginia Dental Board (five four-year terms), making him the only dentist in this state to serve more than 10 years on the board.

In 1968, Watkins and five other black students became members of the Virginia Tech Charter at Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship Inc. , when they went to Virginia State University (VCU) for a pledge. They have formed, on the campus of Virginia Tech, the first all-black organization, which has been a haven for minority students for social events on and off campus for more than 20 years. In 1999, Watkins and several of his fellow Groove Phi Groove Alumni Program, along with other minority alumni from the 1970s, founded the now-branded Groove Phi Groove Scholarship, which awards students annually.

Watkins has also received numerous awards for his years of service, including the Virginia Tech Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the Dominion Dental Association’s Dentist of the Year Award, and is one of the first recipients of Virginia Tech’s Most Influential Black Alumni Awards. Virginia Tech Black alumni reunion, VCU-MCV Dental School’s Harry Lyons Outstanding Alumni Award, and VCU’s MCV Dental School Star Alumnus Award.

Watkins is married to Hardinia Watkins. They have two adult children: Davida Watkins Jackson and Daryl Watkins. Daryl’s son, Deunder Watkins, is a 2021 hockey player, and Davida is married to Matthew Jackson who graduated in 2005 from Virginia Tech.

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