Bowman Foster Ashe (April 3, 1885 – December 16, 1952) was a U.S. educator who served as the first president of the University of Miami.
Ashe was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Scottdale, Pennsylvania on April 3, 1885, one of six sons of a Methodist minister. He attended Mount Union College and then transferred to the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree In 1910. After graduation, he took a job teaching English and history in public school. Ashe also worked as the educational/social director of Langeloth, a model town near Pittsburgh. Ashe’s work eventually led him back to the University of Pittsburgh where he became a faculty member and supervised the admission, transfer and academic progress of freshmen and sophomores.
The founders of UM hired Ashe from Pittsburgh to oversee the institution during its challenged infancy. During Ashe's presidency, the University added the School of Law (1928), the School of Business Administration (1929), the School of Education (1929), the Graduate School (1941), the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (1943), the School of Engineering (1947), and the School of Medicine (1952).
In 1929, with the collapse of the economy, UM's financial plight was severe, and Ashe took over as Chairman of its Board of Trustees. He later gave up that role but continued as President. He recruited Jay F. W. Pearson from the University of Pittsburgh to join him as a part of the charter faculty and as an administrator. Pearson took over as president in November 1952 upon the first of two debilitating strokes which led to Ashe's death the following month. Ashe was inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the University of Miami's highest honor.
The University of Miami's administration building, the Bowman Foster Ashe Administration Building, and Bowman Foster Ashe Elementary School (located in West Kendall, Florida) are both named in his honor.