Stewart Colton – Colton Center for Autoimmunity at Penn

In 2022, Stewart Colton (Penn ’62) and his wife Judy, established the Colton Center for Autoimmunity at Penn through a generous $60 million philanthropic gift. 

The Colton Center at Penn aims to advance research in autoimmune diseases, which affect more than 23 million people across the United States. Colton and Judy have also endowed two other autoimmune centers at NYU and Yale. 

“Autoimmunity affects so many people and yet we still see gaps in knowledge and care options available to patients and families,” said philanthropists Judy and Stewart Colton.

“Our goal is to improve that outlook. By investing in Penn and its scientific partners in the Colton Consortium, we hope to create an organized approach so we can work together to define the future of this important area of medicine.”

More than 80 autoimmune diseases affect 23.5 million people each year.  Some are well known, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, but others are rare and difficult to diagnose. With unusual autoimmune diseases, patients may suffer years before getting a proper diagnosis. Most of these diseases have no cure.

Dedicated Philanthropists

Stewart and Judy Colton are entrepreneurs and philanthropists who are passionate about supporting art, conservation, translational medicine, medical discoveries and cultivating young minds. Together, the couple has supported the training of the next generation of academic leaders, musicians and researchers through scholarships and fellowships.

Stewart developed Alpha Metals Co., an international metals and chemical company serving the electronics industry, and has devoted himself to private investment and philanthropy for over three decades since selling the business.

In spite of his generosity to this and other causes, according to a 2022 interview in Main Line Media News, “Stewart is very modest and does not like to talk about his philanthropy.”

Colton demonstrated leadership at Penn, where he served as president of Pi Lambda Phi, and later graduated from Wharton School of Business. He is still close with a tight circle of friends and brothers, and gets together on on a zoom call every other week.