The Wheatley Institution

Alan C. Ashton


Alan C. Ashton

As president and co-founder of WordPerfect Corporation, Alan C. Ashton stands as an authoritative yet unpretentious leader. Currently, Ashton's executive duties focus on designing software that is powerful, yet flexible and easy to use. WordPerfect, the million-dollar product from which the company takes its name, evolves from an idea which originated as early as 1969 when Alan, then a graduate student, submitted two computer projects for possible research - one involving music and the other word processing. His professors opted for the first idea. It was not until nine years later, in 1978, that Ashton received his latent idea and started on the path that eventually led to the number-one-selling WordPerfect 4.2.

In addition to his many corporate responsibilities, Ashton taught Computer Science at Brigham Young University, where he was a full-time professor for fourteen years. There he enjoyed working with students on advanced-degree projects, and his willingness to help others learn prompted BYU's graduating Computer Science class of 1986 to elect him the Outstanding Professor of the Year. He and his wife, Karen, presided over the Canada Toronto West Mission from 2004 to 2007. He also founded Thanksgiving Point in 1995.

Ashton graduated magna cum laude in Mathematics in 1966 and received his PhD in Computer Science in 1970, both from the University of Utah. A family man at heart, he enjoys spending time with his wife and eleven children in their home in Orem, Utah. Other interests include farming, music - especially the trumpet, and competitive tennis.

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