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Professor, Department of Classical Studies

Professor Emerita



Dr. Kovach earned a B.A. and M.A. in Latin and foreign language education from Wayne State University and a Ph.D. in classical studies and Latin from the University of Michigan.  She taught languages and mathematics in the Detroit Public Schools for nearly 21 years, chairing the foreign language department at Mumford High.

In 1965 she joined the faculty at the University of Detroit, Department of Classical Studies where she served as chairperson. She taught Greek and Latin, and was fluent in Spanish and German.  Dr. Kovach had received at least three fellowships from the University of Michigan, including one that allowed her to study at the American Academy in Rome.

The sixth annual President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research was presented to Dr. Kovach on a Friday evening in November 1983.  When notified of the award she said “Friday night will be like going to heaven and hearing my obituary read.”

She was nationally recognized for developing methods to teach Latin and Greek at both the high school and college levels. She developed drill tapes and tests for Macmillan & Co. to accompany Latin textbooks. She also taught thousands of teachers both in the classroom and at summer workshops and seminars throughout the country.  At U of D, she expanded her academic horizons to teach a very popular class, "Word Power," which reconditioned students to the English language by teaching them word origins, syntax, vocabulary, and how to use a dictionary. She helped to write the National Latin exam.

Dr. Kovach's first love in teaching remained classical studies. She said, "There's nothing more relevant and meaningful to Western civilization than classical studies. Its continuity and importance to Western civilization is inescapable. It is reflected in our language, art, literature and psychology."

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Dr. Kovach served on the National Humanities Faculty funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was instrumental in starting both the Detroit Classical Association and Michigan Classical Conference. She also served as a consultant to the U.S. Office of Education, the Chicago Public Schools, the Campus Advisory Board of the American Philological Association, and the University of Michigan Press; and she served on the Foreign Language Curriculum Committee for the State of Michigan.

In a June 12, 1986 letter from Robert A. Mitchell, S.J., President, University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Kovach learned that she would receive the honor of Professor Emerita.  In the announcement letter, Fr. Mitchell wrote “As you know, this rank is conferred very rarely and only to those faculty members who have served the University for many years. Who are outstanding teachers, and who have given distinguished service to the University Community.  You truly merit such an honor.” 

“Beginning with your appointment to the University in August, 1965, your teaching has gone unchallenged.  This is evidenced by your continued scholarship over many years and the popularity you have enjoyed from your students and peers.  All of this was evidenced three years ago when you were selected to be the recipient of the President’ Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research.”

“You have given yourself wholeheartedly and unselfishly to serving this University and our community as well.  You have participated often in many activities, not only those formally assigned, but many others done, as you would say, because they were ‘labors of love.’”

University of Detroit

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