Abington High School won't be renamed after alum who donated $25 million

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Abington cancels renaming plans for high school. Gray Hall reports during Action News Mornings on April 1, 2018. (WPVI)

A Montgomery County high school won't be renamed after an alumnus who made a $25 million donation after all.

Superintendent Amy Sichel of the Abington School District said in a letter Saturday that the district had reversed its plan to name Montgomery County's Abington Senior High School after Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman.

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Abington School District receives $25M donation: Jim Gardner reports on Action News at 11 p.m., February 14, 2018


Sichel said most of the community wasn't opposed to the name change, but she had talked to representatives of the donor about "concerns raised by a minority in the community" about the change.

The gift's purpose was "to help Abington High School be the best it can be and to undertake a critical renovation that will dramatically improve the student experience as well as student preparedness," she said. "The donor's representatives conveyed that nothing should detract from our important mission and agree that the school's name should remain as is."

The Blackstone Group is a global private equity firm based in New York. Schwarzman starred in track at Abington and won the student council presidency.

Under the plan approved Tuesday, the school would have been renamed Abington Schwarzman High School and other conditions were attached such as the right to name other locations within the gym complex. Sichel didn't say whether those conditions remain. She offered thanks in her letter to Schwarzman for his "generosity and vision."

"We also thank all those in the community and around the country who have reached out in support of this momentous project, recognizing the huge impact it will have on our students for decades to come," she said. "The Abington community remains extremely grateful for the help."

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