2021 Hamilton College Honorary Degree
Presented to Mason Ashe ’85
Looking back to your Hamilton days, it’s easy to spot harbingers of your career as a pioneering sports and entertainment attorney. Courses with Professors Bob Simon and Frank Anechiarico ’71 motivated you to study law, and the countless hours you spent playing jazz guitar with students from different backgrounds foreshadowed a personal interest that became a professional calling.
As a student, you also demonstrated leadership and a progressive spirit. To fill an academic void, you and a few Black classmates petitioned the College president and Board of Trustees to create an African American studies curriculum. Eventually, the College agreed and included you on the search committee to hire a professor who specialized in African American history. Now you serve as a trustee on the board you once petitioned.
After College, you earned a law degree and began building a career that combined your passions for law, entertainment, and sports. You joined a global sports, events, and talent management company, then, with your partner, created one of the largest, Black-owned sports management agencies. Sports Illustrated named you — twice — to its list of “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports,” and the National Bar Association honored you with its Sports Lawyer of the Year Award.
Today, as head of Ashe Sports & Entertainment Consulting you provide counsel and support for elite athletes, award-winning entertainers, media personalities, sports franchises, and charitable organizations. And – as we witnessed at yesterday’s Baccalaureate – you deliver speeches that motivate and inspire.
In recognition of your pioneering work in the sports and entertainment industry, and the impact you’ve had at Hamilton as a student and alumnus, we honor you today.
May 22, 2021