CHICAGO, June 1 (UPI) -- Wheaton College, a Christian liberal arts school near Chicago, Ill., has officially removed the name of alumnus and former Republican Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert from its public policy center.
Wheaton College's J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy was "re-designated" on Sunday as the Wheaton College Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy.
The announcement comes days after federal authorities indicted Hastert, 73, on charges of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and for making illegally structured bank withdrawals in order to keep previous sexual misconduct against a former high school student hidden.
Hastert was allegedly paying a former male student to stay silent about sexual abuse Hastert committed when he was teaching and coaching at a high school in Yorkville.
The college accepted Hastert's resignation from its Board of Advisors for the public policy center on Friday.
"It is with sadness and shock that the Wheaton College community learned of the indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice of alumnus and former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert," Wheaton College said in a statement announcing the center's name change. "The Center will continue in its mission "to advance the training of Wheaton College students and the greater community in the understanding of market economies, representative democracies, limited government, and the redeeming effects of the Christian worldview on the practice of business, government and politics."
The college also said it "has not been implicated in or associated with any of the allegations" regarding Hastert, who paid about $1.7 million to the person whom he was allegedly attempting silence.
"We commit ourselves to pray for all involved, including Speaker Hastert, his family, and those who may have been harmed by any inappropriate behavior, and to continue the work and mission of the Wheaton College Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy," Wheaton College stated.
Hastert was the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House, serving from 1999 until 2006.