After visiting the campus this summer, LaReina Colton, a freshman at Chase County Schools, may develop aspirations to attend Yale. Her family has a rich history of attendance at the Ivy League school. (Johnson Publications photo)

Coltons have long lineage as Yale alumni

    Yale College began educating young men 317 years ago. The first Colton male signed up for classes 311 years ago.
    Charley and Carla Colton of Imperial recently reviewed the connection between Yale and Colton’s family history.
    About 13 Coltons have graduated from Yale, spanning seven generations.
    Daughter LaReina visited Yale in July as part of the Ambassador Leadership Program. She was nominated by Chase County Schools teacher Agnes Strand.
    LaReina and fellow student David Weiss were asked to choose what school they wanted to visit as part of the program. Weiss chose Harvard, while “I didn’t think it was right to send a Colton to Harvard,” Charley Colton joked.
    During the visit LaReina performed community outreach, participated in a program about ocean pollution and toured New York City and the Yale campus, which is located in New Haven, Connecicut.
    Colton said his daughter, upon arriving at Yale, called him and asked about her parents’ income—would it get her into the Ivy League school?
    “I don’t know if a legacy would help her or not,” he laughed.
    Legacies are preferential treatment given to students whose relatives were involved with the institution.
    Colton’s family connection with Yale began with Rev. Benjamin Colton, who graduated in 1710 at the “top of his class of two” as a minister.
    Yale was founded in 1701 when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a local college “to preserve the tradition of a European liberal education in the New World.”
    The young men were to be instructed in the arts and sciences “through the blessing of Almighty God to be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State.”

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