Help us honor the legacy
 of Leon E. Ashfo​​​rd, PhD​​​

Your contribution to the Black Alumni Council Endowed Scholarship Fund will help us celebrate Leon E. Ashford’s legacy of excellence and dedication by awarding a second scholarship each​ year in his honor. 

                   ​Ma​ke a ​Gift​​​
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​In Memory of Leon Ashford, PhD ​

Ashford, PhD, ’80; Washington University Record
The Black Alumni Council remembers and celebrates the life of Leon E. Ashford, PhD, an early advocate for first-generation and Black students at Washington University in St. Louis. Ashford worked for the university for 39 years, retiring in 1995 as director of Student Educational Services, a precursor to The Learning Center. 

Leon Ashford was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 11, 1930 to Sam and Anna E. Ashford. He grew up in the historic Ville neighborhood in North St. Louis and attended Charles Sumner High School.  After graduation, he attended Stowe Teachers College. It was during his time at Stowe that Ashford pledged and became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.—Omicron Sigma Chapter. Following his time at Stowe College, he spent one year at St. Louis University before being drafted for the war. While he was waiting on orders, he enrolled at Lincoln University. Ashford married the love of his life and best friend Marian on April 16, 1956. Ashford and his wife welcomed a son, Stephen in 1969.

Ashford earned his PhD in counselling psychology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1980 before being appointed director of the university’s Student Educational Service. He retired in 1995 after 39 years with the university, during which time he played many roles, from academic advisor to member of the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee. Prior to his doctoral work, he earned his MA in guidance and counseling in 1970 from the University of Missouri in St. Louis and a BA with a major in biology from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1953. In his student services role, he worked closely with low income and first generation college students to enhance their chance of academic success by helping them navigate obstacles and make use of services and resources at the university. Former students remember him as a patient advisor and fierce advocate who support of underrepresented students spanned generations.

In retirement, Ashford, a cancer survivor and passionate advocate, served as a member of the Disparities Elimination Advisory Committee, the Prostate Cancer Community Partnership, and the Prostate Cancer Coalition. In addition to his work on prostate screening advocacy, Ashford served on the St. Louis Mental Health Board of Trustees, co-founded Omega Squires mentoring organization, chaired the community and civic affairs committee of the Omega fraternity, and served as an advisor to the WashU Black Alumni Council among many other service roles.

We celebrate Dr. Ashford’s legacy of dedication and service.​​

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