Judge rules Girard alumni have no say on cutbacks

Taja Thornton, a 17-year-old senior at Cherry Hill West (2nd from left), along with students from six area schools proudly display a civil rights mural they painted for a Martin Luther King Day of Service at Girard College Jan. 8, 2014. A judge on Wednesday said a group of Girard College alumni, parents, and students do not have the legal right to object to Girard's plans to end its high school and boarding programs. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)
Taja Thornton, a 17-year-old senior at Cherry Hill West (2nd from left), along with students from six area schools proudly display a civil rights mural they painted for a Martin Luther King Day of Service at Girard College Jan. 8, 2014. A judge on Wednesday said a group of Girard College alumni, parents, and students do not have the legal right to object to Girard's plans to end its high school and boarding programs. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 31, 2014

A Philadelphia Orphans' Court judge on Wednesday said a group that includes Girard College alumni, parents, and students does not have the legal right to object to Girard's plans to end its high school and boarding programs.

Administrative Judge Joseph D. O'Keefe denied the group's request to intervene. He held two days of hearings on the petitioners' request in November.

"We're disappointed in the outcome, but at the same time, we're gratified we got a chance to be heard," said Joseph Samuel, president of the 3,000-member Girard College Alumni Association.

While the group's petition has been denied, Samuel pointed out that the court has not yet ruled on Girard's request to temporarily suspend the boarding and high school programs to help restore Girard's ailing finances.

"That matter is still out for determination by the court," Samuel said.

A Girard College spokesman declined to comment.

In July, the Board of Managers of City Trusts, which oversees Girard, asked the court for permission to make the changes.

The board asked the court to modify the will of Stephen Girard, the merchant banker whose 1831 bequest established the boarding school for poor children on a 43-acre campus in Fairmount.

The school initially said it planned to suspend the programs this fall. But in October, Girard said it would continue to run the high school and boarding programs at least through the 2014-15 academic year.

A total of 330 students from first through 12th grade attend Girard.


martha.woodall@phillynews.com215-854-2789

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|