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Labor leader, Union negotiator

Honorary Doctor of Laws

2016

Citation:

George J. Asher’s short life was a model of selfless compassion.  During his life, he build legacies as a labor leader, a student of the law and a devoted brother who continues to have a lasting effect today.

The oldest child of Syrian immigrants, Mr. Asher left high school at 16 to support and raise his brothers and sisters after their parents died.  A union negotiator for a Detroit-area law firm, he so impressed the attorneys there they urged him to finish his GED and earn a law degree.

By day, he tirelessly defended workers’ rights and at night studied the law at University of Detroit School of Law.  He fought against fraud in the building trades and became the executive secretary of the Better Heating and Cooling Bureau.  His campaign for ethical business practices and installation guideline created safeguards for the consumer while serving as a model for the industry.

In 1963, shortly before his final year at University of Detroit School of Law, George J. Asher died of complications related to hemophilia.  Mr. Asher’s ideals inspired his brother Anthony Asher ’61, ’65 to pursue a career in the law.  He honored his brother George with his generous gift to University of Detroit Mercy School of Law’s George J. Asher Law Clinic Center to continue its mission of service, which is part of educating the complete lawyer.

In recognition of his fight for justice for workers, his work ethic and his inspiring dedication to his family, University of Detroit Mercy is honored to present George J. Asher posthumously with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

University of Detroit Mercy

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