NORTH CENTER — Despite protests from alumni, Gordon Tech College Prep officials announced Wednesday the high school's name will officially change this summer to DePaul College Prep.
The decision came after the school's board of directors voted Tuesday to change the name as part of an effort to rebrand the North Side high school.
To address some complaints from alums, the board decided to maintain the school's mascot, a ram, and keep orange as a school color, although the board also said it will consider adding another color.
The board also voted to establish a "Fr. Francis Gordon Endowed Scholarship Fund" for family members of Gordon Tech alumni as well as create a committee to "maintain the heritage of Gordon Tech at the school," officials said in a statement.
The school is named after the Rev. Francis Gordon, a Resurrectionist priest who was active in Chicago's Polish community. He died in 1928. Officials at Gordon, opened in 1952, said the school grounds will be named the Fr. Gordon campus.
The new name reflects a partnership between Gordon Tech and DePaul University, which was announced in 2012. Officials said DePaul has helped the high school develop a facilities plan and assisted the school's push to add an International Baccalaureate program.
In supporting the name switch, board members have cited recent surveys that found parents consider Gordon Tech to be below the city's selective enrollment high schools and private schools.
School officials have said Gordon Prep has seen declining enrollment as enrollment at surrounding elementary feeder schools has risen 220 percent in the past 10 years. As of January, 540 students attend Gordon Prep.
Enrollment had dipped to as low as 395 students in 2010, down from as many as 2,000 students during the 1980s.
Some disappointed alumni said the decision to change the school's name was a done deal long before Wednesday's announcement.
Mark Scibor, who graduated from Gordon Tech in 1992, has opposed and was disappointed by the name change.
"Nobody should feel good about this," Scibor said. "They took the school from us."
Scibor said DePaul now has its name on a "good, growing school ... without paying for it."
"They can end this 'academic partnership' at anytime and walk away," Scibor said.