The standing ovation for history professor James Covert came from those who counted most - his University of Portland students - on his final day of teaching.

Covert, a professor at the University since 1961, spent his last day, Dec. 4, teaching a topic for which he is a noted authority, Victorian English history.

On several occasions during the class, Covert referred to the course as his last, which seemed to touch the students who place him high on their list of professors.

'I like him because he is so personal,' said student Julie Duman, a junior majoring in nursing. 'He's knowledgeable and really cares about us. A lot of students I talk with say they want to be just like him.'

Covert is the author of A Point of Pride, the definitive written history of the University of Portland, affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross religious order of priests and brothers. He also helped create the University's Heritage Room museum that attracts alumni and other visitors from throughout the region.

Covert plans to continue his writing and research more vigorously as well as give an occasional lecture at the University. Last year he was honored by the Oregon Catholic Historical Society with its Bishop Francis Leipzig Award. A member of St. Pius X Church in Northwest Portland, he also has served as president of the Portland Archdiocese Historical Commission.

A graduate of the University of Portland in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in history, Covert went on to the University of Oregon, where he received his master's degree in history in 1961 and his doctorate degree in history in 1967.

He was the recipient of a long list of honors and awards during his career. He is the author and editor of several books and articles in his field and served on many professional and civic groups.