By Jim Melwert

ABINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — The CEO of one of the world’s largest private equity firms is giving $25 million to his alma mater.

Stephen Schwarzman is the chairman and co-founder of Blackstone and a graduate of Abington High School. He’s pledging $25 million to Abington School District.

Abington School District Superintendent Dr. Amy Sichel says the gift will go towards the expansion and renovation of the high school, primarily a new science and technology center.

“Which will include state of the arts science labs, and labs for robotics and virtual reality and some very high-tech types of skills,” she said.

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Schwarzman says he owes a debt of gratitude to Abington High School, and he’s calling on others to invest in public education, as he puts it, “to spark a much-needed shift in how we support… public education today.”

Dr. Sichel calls the gift “unprecedented.”

“Benefactors like this are hard to come by and I think it’s important that all school districts start to think about innovative ways to be able to fund schools and to be able to do innovations for their school districts as well,” Sichel said. “Very rare to see.”

Schwarzman is making the announcement at the School Superintendent’s Association’s National Conference on Education, which is fittingly titled “I Love Public Education,” a yearlong initiative designed to highlight the importance of public schools.

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