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Advancement News


The Ashton Family

The Ashton family donates generously to universities across Utah. The philanthropic family, headed by Alan and Karen Ashton, from Orem, Utah, has donated to the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University. The couple now adds Utah State University to its list.

The Ashton Family Foundation is donating $200,000 to the USU Extension program at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. Thanksgiving Point, which the Ashton’s own and built, is a non-profit organization that serves many purposes with its estate garden, museum and educational institution. Although the Ashton’s have donated to the Extension programs through Thanksgiving Point since 2004, this is the first time the family foundation is donating to USU exclusively.

By leveraging the unique assets and strengths of USU Extension and Thanksgiving Point, the university and the Ashton’s have created a greater impact on the community than either group could do alone. USU Extension and Thanksgiving Point are working together to expand programs that include gardening classes for adults, student field trips, day camps, 4-H clubs and an outreach programs for children and youth across the state.

Alan was a professor at BYU for many years and during his time there he became the co-founder of the former Utah based company WordPerfect. The company was sold to Novell in 1995. Since then, the Ashtons have been known to give generously to many different charities, organizations and schools.

The USU Extension Program is integral to the land-grant mission of the university. USU is excited to partner with the Ashtons to provide better programs and service to the Utah County area.