Marion Stedman Covington was born and raised in Asheboro, North Carolina, where her father was a textile manufacturer and founder of the Stedman Corporation. She attended Greensboro College and Duke University before spending her professional career employed in the family business. She spent most of her life in North Carolina, and it is in this area that she focused her generosity.
Mrs. Covington had a long history of voluntarism and philanthropy. She was a leader in North Carolina’s historic preservation movement for more than fifteen years. In 1991, Preservation North Carolina recognized Mrs. Covington’s contributions by naming her Honorary Life President. One of her most significant contributions was the establishment of the Stedman Incentive Grant, given in memory of her father. This grant has been presented annually since 1976 by Preservation North Carolina to assist nonprofit organizations in their preservation efforts.
Mrs. Covington’s interests also included art, education and the well being of others. Her generosity provided the means for educational opportunities, artistic expression and the preservation of history. Her overwhelming desire was to enrich the lives of others, and it was this desire which led her to establish the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation in 1986.
For the first twenty years of its history the Foundation provided funding in Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Human Services and Historic Preservation. As of 2007, the Board of Trustees has chosen to reflect Mrs. Covington’s value of a love of history and regional heritage by narrowing the focus to Historic Preservation.
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