A Salt Lake attorney, businessman and community leader has been named full-time executive director of the University of Utah Alumni Association.

M. John Ashton, president of the Alumni Association and a member of the university's Institutional Council from 1983-87, succeeds Lee M. Ence, who is retiring after 18 years in the alumni post.In announcing Ashton's appointment, Ted R. Capener, vice president for university relations, praised Ence for her contributions to the university and development of alumni programs.

"We are extremely pleased to have John Ashton head our alumni staff. As we welcome him, we pay tribute to Lee Ence and the job she has done for the past two decades.

"We are fortunate that someone with John's background and leadership abilities will now assume this critically important position. The involvement and support of our alumni are essential to maintaining the strength and vitality of this great university."

Ashton holds a bachelor of science degree in business management and also received his law degree from the U. He is a member of the Salt Lake law firm of Ray, Quinney & Nebeker and has long been active in lawyers' organizations.

He was appointed to the U.'s National Advisory Council in 1987; served on the Alumni Board from 1980 to 1983; is a past secretary, vice chairman and chairman of the state bar's young lawyers' section and past district representative of the same section of the American Bar Association.

He is a member of the American, Utah and Salt Lake County Bar associations and is a past Utah State Bar examiner. From 1983 to 1987 he was a board member of the Arboretum of Utah and of the Friends of KUED. He was named to the University Hospital board in 1985 and is chairman of the hospital's planning committee.