Edith M. A. Kovach (2009)

Edith M.A. Kovach was born on March 29, 1921, in New York City. As a child she moved to Detroit with her family and called it her home for the rest of her life. She graduated from Central High School, then Wayne State, from which she received a B.A. and an M.A. in Classics. She earned her doctorate at the University of Michigan. She returned home to a career that neatly divided itself into two halves: she taught for over 20 years in Detroit high schools, chiefly Mumford High School, before moving to the University of Detroit, where she also taught for just over 20 years beginning in 1965. She chaired the Department of Classical Studies and developed her signature course, "Word Power," a vocabulary builder based on ancient cognates. Her success at maintaining and vitalizing Classics on the campus earned her the University's Presidential Medal for teaching. She periodically left home to share her skills with others, giving countless workshops and teaching seminars across the country. Her voice reached many students via her audio tapes for the Ullman-Henry Latin for Americans series. She helped write the National Latin Exam, served on the NEH's National Humanities Faculty and the Campus Advisory Board of the APA, and was a founder of the Detroit Classical Association and the Michigan Classical Conference. With the support of the University of Michigan she was able to spend a summer of research at the American Academy in Rome. As her friend Alice McIntyre said, "She had a marvelous ability for bringing all classic arts and languages together so that people developed a depth of understanding and genuine appreciation." She died 1 July 2009, in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

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