Elder Marvin J. Ashton honored

The Marvin J. Ashton Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Utah has been established to honor the memory of the member of the Council of the Twelve who died Feb. 25 at age 78.

The award, created through the gift of an anonymous donor, has been made to the David Eccles School of Business to recognize exceptional contributions that Elder Ashton made to the university. The award will be given annually to a business professor who demonstrates excellence in teaching."The $5,000 Marvin J. Ashton Teaching Excellence Award will be a fitting tribute to

ElderT Ashton's memory," said John W. Seybolt, dean of the David Eccles School of Business.

Arthur K. Smith, university president, said, "We are pleased to announce this tribute to Elder Ashton, a man whose life exemplified hard work and service to others and who was a dear friend of the University of Utah."

Throughout Elder Ashton's lifetime of service, he was a supportive and energetic alumnus of the University of Utah. He served as chairman of important fund-raising committees for the university, including the Hugh B. Brown Chair in the law school and the N. Eldon Tanner Chair in the school of business. In 1978, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Utah.

In 1982, Deseret Book established the Marvin J. Ashton Scholarship for business students to honor Elder Ashton's business, civic and Church leadership. He was a long-time member of the university's national advisory council. On June 9, 1984, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Utah. Elder Ashton also served on the Utah State Board of Regents.

"We feel tremendously honored to recognize the dynamic leadership of Marvin J. Ashton," Dean Seybolt said. "He was a master businessman, devoted community leader, and a deeply religious man. His involvement at the university and the School of Business exemplified his concern for students and their individual success, which is embodied in this recognition of outstanding teaching."

Elder Ashton, a native of Salt Lake City, graduated from the University of Utah in business administration.

He was founder and president of a wholesale lumber company and served on the boards of a number of businesses. He was chairman of the boards of Deseret Book Co., ZCMI, Zions Securities, the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, and a member of the boards of First Security Corp., Laie Resorts, the Islands Foundation and Beneficial Development Corp.

Elder Ashton made many contributions to the community. He served a term in the Utah State Senate from 1957-61, concentrating on the needs of young people. During his term, he spearheaded a project to improve juvenile detention facilities. He was always concerned about the welfare of youth and served in local, regional and national executive positions in the Boy Scouts of America. He was also a member of the Utah State Alcohol and Drug Control Board.

As a young man, he served a mission in the British Isles. Later, he served for more than 21 years in the YMMIA, first as a member of the general board and then in the general presidency. He was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in October 1968, with a special assignment to set up and manage the Unified Social Service, now a department of Welfare Services. In 1971, he was called to the Council of the Twelve.

He and his wife, Norma B. Ashton, had two sons and two daughters, and 18 grandchildren.

Dean Seybolt quoted from an address Elder Ashton delivered during April 1990 general conference: " `In our conversations and conduct we can be much more effective if we avoid the demeaning effect of that which could be classified as boasting. We should wisely let others become aware of accomplishments by observations rather than to have us appear to flaunt them before the world.' "

Dean Seybolt said Elder Ashton's life was a reflection of those words.

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