William B. Ashton ’54

Now performing in his thirtieth year of service on the Graduate Board, William B. Ashton is an ideal example of the motto “Not For College Days Alone”. Joining the Board in 1975, Bill has been present for both the ups and downs of the Delta Xi chapter. Most notably, Bill weathered perhaps the lowest point in Delta Xi history during its absence from UC Berkeley between 1993 and 2000. During the majority of this period Bill served as the Graduate Board President (1995-2002) and provided the steadying force that allowed the current group of Fijis the ability to triumphantly return to their place of residence in 2001. While Fiji was off campus, the Graduate Board rented the chapter house to another fraternity. With tremendous effort, Bill kept the renters in line and managed to keep them from completely destroying the house. Thanks to Bill’s dedication, many of the treasures that exist within the chapter house remained safe and well protected. Through Bill’s guidance, both the Gamma and Norris stained glass windows were sealed off, and the spiral staircase glass received its plexiglass guard. Several other structural projects were completed under Bill’s tenure as well. Also, while working with Bill Corlett ‘41, Bill established the Fiji house as a Berkeley historical landmark, thus ensuring the preservation of 2395 Piedmont Ave.

In addition to all the success that Bill has ensured for Phi Gamma Delta, he has also enjoyed a large amount of personal success professionally. Bill is currently the head of his own design firm, Ashton Pacific Designs, based in Oakland. Ashton Designs has been responsible for many of the more well-known structures throughout the Bay Area, most notably the San Francisco Marriott Hotel and the Crocker Galeria in San Francisco. Bill is also the current president for the Illuminating Engineering Society.

Despite his many accomplishments, perhaps Bill’s greatest source of pride comes from his family. Bill currently lives in Piedmont with his wife Dorothy and is the father to four sons: Scott, Roger (Cal Fiji ’84), David (Cal Fiji ’89) and Peter (Cal Fiji ’92).