Gordon Tech’s name changed to Depaul Prep
by MARIO LEKOVIC
The Congregation of the Resurrection, made up of Roman Catholic priests, brothers and seminarians who founded Gordon Tech High School and other Chicago-area schools, decided on March 12 to change the name of the school to DePaul College Prep, effective this summer.
The board also voted to establish a Father Francis Gordon Endowed Scholarship Fund for family members of Gordon Tech graduates, establish a Heritage Committee to maintain the heritage of Gordon Tech and to keep the ram as the school’s mascot.
"After analyzing all of the data, reports and feedback, the board made its decision," said Mary Dempsey, a member of the DePaul Board of Trustees and the chairwoman of Gordon Tech’s Rebranding Task Force.
"The alumni are still our alumni and we hope they can see that," Dempsey said. "We’re proud that they are a part of our history."
"This decision honors the rich heritage of Gordon Tech and most especially honors Father Francis Gordon, C.R., while also reflecting the exciting momentum of our academic partnership with DePaul," said Congregation of the Resurrection provincial superior the Reverend Gene Szarek said. "As the founders and Catholic sponsors of the school, the congregation is grateful to the board of directors for undertaking this rebranding process to ensure the vitality of Catholic education at the school and grateful for DePaul’s partnership in that important work.
"We are proud to join with the excellent Catholic high schools in our area to provide another strong academic option for families on the North Side. We look forward to welcoming you to DePaul College Prep at the Father Gordon campus."
According to Gordon Tech officials, the name reflects the improvements made at the school and signals a new beginning for the school. Changes made at the school since a partnership was formed with DePaul University in 2012 include upgrading the infrastructure, adding technology and improving academics.
Steve Imparl, who graduated from the school in 1981, opposed the name change.
"That justification is long on buzzwords and short on facts," Imparl said. "I find these statements extremely unpersuasive. With all the improvements that have occurred and are planned, they still had to change the name of the school?"
At a February meeting on the possible name change, many alumni supported the upgrades to the school but opposed the name change, many saying it would diminish the history and tradition of the school.
"We have a school that’s operating and running, and we want to bring them more resources," Dempsey said.
DePaul University was involved in the operation of the now defunct DePaul University Academy, which closed in 1968.
Although the name of the school will change, the campus will be named the Father Gordon Campus, a small consolation to the alumni. "When people ask me where I went to college and law school, I tell them DePaul University," Imparl said. "I don’t tell them the Lincoln Park campus or the Loop campus.
The school, 3633 N. California Ave., opened in 1952, and it moved to its current location in 1961. It is named after a leader of the Congregation of the Resurrection.