Ann Covington resigns from UM System Board of Curators

In 1989, Covington became the first female judge to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court.
Portrait of Ann Covington. Photo courtesy UM System

The UM System Board of Curators announced the resignation of curator Ann K. Covington effective immediately, according to a news release.

Covington cited the death of her husband Charles McClain, her hip replacement surgery and her granddaughter’s major surgery as reasons for her departure.

“It has been a great honor to serve the four campuses of the University of Missouri System in the role of curator, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity,” Covington said in the news release. “Given these events in my personal life, I feel I cannot summon any longer the requisite energy for the faithful service that is demanded of a UM System curator, thus must step down.”

Covington was appointed to the board in 2013 by Gov. Jay Nixon. She represented the 4th Congressional District on the board and her term was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2019. Covington’s replacement will serve the remaining portion of her term, not the full six-year term.

"I respect Ann’s decision and greatly appreciate her decades of service to the people of Missouri, including her most recent tenure as a member of the Board of Curators," Nixon said in a news release. “Ann Covington is a trailblazer, a leader and an outstanding Missourian. On behalf of the people of Missouri, I thank Ann for her exemplary service. The First Lady and I wish her all the best as she devotes her full attention to her family during this time.”

On the board, she served as chairwoman of the finance committee. She was also a member of the compensation and human resources committee, as well as the academic, student and external affairs committee.

“Ann Covington is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve had the pleasure to know,” board chairman Donald Cupps said in the news release. “Ann’s judgement and vision have contributed so much to the university and it is a great loss to the system that personal circumstances have necessitated her early departure from the board. We wish her the best.”

Covington has been a lawyer and judge for more than 30 years. In 1989, she was appointed as the first female chief judge to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court. Prior to her appointment, she served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, practiced law in Columbia and served as an assistant attorney general under Missouri Attorney General John Ashcroft.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1963 and a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1977.

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