VIDEO: Colborn Distinguished Service Recipient Larry Ashton ’70
In Webb’s archives, there is a small, yellowed newspaper clipping from the Vernal Express dated June 11, 1970 that begins, “Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Ashton returned from Claremont, CA this week after attending graduation exercises for their son, Larry Ashton.” The article goes on to describe Ashton’s Webb career, the awards he received at graduation, including one for outstanding extracurricular service to the school and a gold emblem for being a member of Webb’s Honor Committee. This small newspaper clipping began what has grown into two overstuffed permanent files and many database entries describing Ashton’s involvement with Webb and the Alf Museum and the many ways he has supported and lead these two institutions that he loves dearly.
While Ashton’s accomplishments as a leader of the Class of 1970, as a Webb trustee and Alf Museum trustee and board chair are well known, a careful review of the archives reveals much more about this loyal son of Webb. D. Bruce Hutchinson, the college counselor at the time, had an early and accurate read on Ashton: “Larry’s greatest asset is his personality. He will make a positive contribution wherever he goes.” While this was in reference to college, we are very glad that Ashton returned to Webb and the museum where he has made many positive contributions.
In 1995, the Class of 1970 celebrated its 25th reunion in Lake Tahoe. It was a memorable weekend filled with laughter (and probably no laugh greater than Ashton’s!) as evidenced in a letter that he wrote to the Alumni Office summarizing the event. The letter itself is a joy to read, celebrating the friendships and bonds among this class that were begun more than a quarter of a century earlier. Such is the power of Webb, and such is the power of Ashton, who stewards and leads with such a big heart.
Finally, while Ashton honors the past and all of Webb’s and the museum’s accomplishments to date, his outlook is very much forward-facing, so appropriate as Webb begins its second century in 2022. Ashton included two quotes next to his senior yearbook picture. The first “But times do change and move continually” by Edmund Spenser shows that that even as a high school senior, Ashton had a mature awareness of the passage of time. His second quote, (often attributed to John F. Kennedy), “We cannot see the future if we live in the past,” speaks to the man of action that Ashton was, and is this day. Webb, the Alf Museum and all who love both institutions are lucky to have Larry Ashton ’70 in their lives.
About the Colborn Award
Named in honor of Ken Colborn ’47, the Colborn Distinguished Service Award pays tribute to an alumnus/a in recognition of selfless commitment and ongoing volunteer service to The Webb Schools and/or Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology. Recipients are recognized for distinguished and significant volunteer service to Webb and/or the Alf Museum and have demonstrated service over an extended period.
2013: Ken Colborn ’47
2014: Jim Hall ’59
2015: Dick Lynas ’55
2016: Dodd Fischer ’61 and Peter Ziegler ’63
2017: H. Earl “Bud” Hoover ’52, Kimball McCloud ’67 & Janel Henriksen Hastings ’87
2018: John A. Sutro Jr. ’53 & Jim Drasdo ’63
2019: Miles R. Rosedale ’69 & Dr. Christina Mercer McGinley ’84
2020: Larry Ashton ’70