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Ohio University Zanesville Campus honors life and work of Mary Covert

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (June 22, 2004) -- Mary Catherine Covert imprinted her memory and life story on the people she met through the stories she told and the poetry she wrote. She touched the lives of friends, family, professors, and student colleagues while earning her Bachelor's Degree from Ohio University - Zanesville in 1990. At the time, Covert, age 86, was the oldest graduate of a public university in the state of Ohio.

A resident of Zanesville, Covert passed away in 2002 at the age of 98, but her legacy will live on due to the efforts of one of her former professors. With the university's help, Associate Professor of English Michael Nern has published a collection of Covert's poems, entitled "Earthbound."

As reported in the Zanesville Times Recorder in 2000, Covert noted in an autobiographical writing, "I hope with God's help to use whatever time is left to me, not bemoaning my aloneness, but actively reaching out to touch the children of tomorrow."

Covert's daughter, Rachel Nicholson, devoted herself to that wish by recording her mother's life story, a project which took close to four years to complete. By that time, Covert could no longer see to write and chose to tell her life story on tape. The result, both entertaining and poignant, has been compiled on nine compact disks and will be placed into the Ohio University Archives.

The university presents a celebration of Covert's life, poetry, and storytelling, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, at the Zanesville Campus Library in Herrold Hall. Relatives and friends will read from Mary's book of poems and excerpts from Covert's life story will be shared. A reception follows the event, which is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Nern at (740) 588-1465 or at nern@ohio.edu.  

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Media Contact: Public Relations Coordinator Connie Shriver, (740) 588-1509

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