Charles Edward Colton '60, who became well known and highly regarded in the college financial aid field, was born on May 9, 1938, the son of James B. II and Ruth Silliman Ruiter Colton, in Albany, NY. He grew up in the Empire State's capital and attended Albany Academy, where his father taught Latin and Greek and his mother served as alumni executive secretary. While at that military school, "Chuck" Colton rose to the rank of company captain and was an outstanding athlete, captaining the soccer team and also lettering in basketball, tennis, and track. He was graduated as president of the Student Council in 1956.
Chuck Colton entered Hamilton that year and became an outstanding soccer player on the Hill as well. Under new coach Manfred von Schiller, he helped the team to its first winning season in eight years in 1959. Named to the first string All-New York State squad, along with classmate Tim Norbeck, he also played hockey, trouped with the Charlatans, and served on the Student Senate and Chapel Board. A member of Alpha Delta Phi and elected to D.T., Was Los, and Pentagon, he majored in philosophy and departed the Hill with his diploma in 1960.
Later that summer, Chuck Colton went on active duty with the U.S. Navy. He served as an "order-taker," as he put it, for three years until 1963, including sea duty on the venerable aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp, and attained the rank of lieutenant (j.g.). Thereafter he returned to Albany Academy to teach Latin and English, joining his father, who was then chairing the foreign languages department. After two years of teaching and coaching soccer, Chuck came back to College Hill as assistant secretary of admission, working with Sidney B. Bennett. Two years later, in 1967, he left that post to begin graduate work in educational administration at Colgate University. Married to Patricia B. Glavin on January 20, 1967, in Boston, MA, he continued to reside on College Hill while earning his M.A. degree in student personnel from Colgate, which was conferred in 1968. That year, he moved to Geneva, NY, when appointed director of student aid at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
In 1970, Chuck Colton took the position of director of student aid at Franklin & Marshall College, where he would also serve as assistant dean of students. An advisor as well on college student aid to local, state, regional, and national agencies, he remained at Franklin & Marshall for 19 years. Known for his wry wit, he later served briefly as interim financial aid director at Muhlenberg College and as a counselor to the Head Start program. Devoted to his family, he was considered by colleagues to be a "gem of a human being" as well as an expert and somewhat of a pioneer in the financial aid field. One of his former colleagues at Franklin & Marshall remembers Chuck as a teacher and mentor who "empowered the people who worked with him."
Chuck Colton continued to reside in Lancaster, PA, where he was a vestryman, lay reader, chalice bearer, and Sunday school director at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. He and his wife Pat were also active for more than a decade in the church's Engaged and Marriage Encounter programs, for which they were a presenting couple and treasurers for the Eastern United States. Chuck also served for many years as a soccer referee and especially enjoyed working with young players. He was twice honored for his contributions to the sport.
Charles E. Colton died in Lancaster on March 4, 2008. In addition to his wife of 41 years, he leaves two daughters, Rebecca Ann and Kristina M. Colton, and two sisters.