A new professorship named for alumnus George Ashton extends his family’s legacy
Friday, March 23, 2012

Thanks to a gift of more than $600,000, the University of Iowa College of Engineering has established the George D. Ashton Professorship in Hydroscience and Engineering.

George Ashton portrait
George Ashton

The professorship honors College of Engineering graduate George D. Ashton, who received a B.S. degree in civil engineering in 1961. After earning a master’s degree from the University of Arizona, Ashton returned to the UI to pursue a doctorate in mechanics and hydraulics, which he completed in 1971.

Ashton then joined the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and conducted research on river ice, air bubbler systems, and thermal suppression of ice covers. He retired from CRREL in 1998 and lives in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he continues to serve as a consultant.

Alec Scranton, interim dean, says the gift represents the depth and breadth of the impact the Ashton family name has made on the College of Engineering.

“We’re so grateful to Jim and Glenda Ashton for making this gift,” says Scranton. "It not only honors George Ashton's remarkable contributions to the field of engineering during his career, but also serves as a tribute to the eight Ashton family members who received their engineering education at the UI and have made their own mark on the profession and society."

The new endowed professorship is supported by a gift to the Ashton Professorships Fund, created through the UI Foundation in 2008 with a major gift commitment from Jim Ashton, a 1964 graduate of the college, and his wife, Glenda.

The fund initially named a civil engineering professorship in honor of George’s brother, William D. Ashton, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the UI in 1962 and 1963, respectively. The fund eventually will name an additional professorship in honor of Jim Ashton.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information, visit www.uifoundation.org.