Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-06-28

Samford graduate Mary Kathryn Covert of Meridian, Miss., has been named 2007 National Student Leader of the Year by Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society. The award carries a $2,000 scholarship for graduate work.

A May graduate, Covert was judged to have shown the greatest dedication to quality leadership and scholarship out of nominees from ODK circles around the country.

Covert, who was 2006-07 president of the Samford ODK circle, received regional leader of the year honors earlier in the spring.

"Mary Kathryn's leadership both within the Samford ODK circle and in her other activities was extraordinary," said ODK executive director Jack Morgan in announcing the award. "Each of the regional leaders of the year was exceptional, so being chosen from among them is a testament to her and to the opportunities she received while at Samford."

ODK circles are present at more than 300 college campuses nationwide.

Covert's extensive ODK work at Samford includes service as community outreach chair and leadership with projects in rural Perry County, Alabama.

She was a Samford Presidential LEAD scholar, Honors Program president and Student Government Association chief justice. In 2005, she was a summer intern at Christian Solidarity Worldwide human advocacy firm in Surrey, England.

Covert, who was a history major, is currently a public affairs intern with The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Ga.

Her national recognition makes 2007 an especially good year for the Samford ODK circle. In February, circle co-advisor Dr. Roderick Davis, retired arts and sciences dean, was named national advisor of the year.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.