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posted: 9/24/2012 5:30 AM

There's a new "Buzz" in Schaumburg

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  • Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is greeted by students upon his arrival at his namesake school Sept. 24. The school now bears his legal name, Buzz.

       Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is greeted by students upon his arrival at his namesake school Sept. 24. The school now bears his legal name, Buzz.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's unlikely anyone will ever again wonder whom the newly re-christened Buzz Aldrin Elementary School in Schaumburg is honoring.

Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 board members last week voted unanimously to change the name of the 41-year-old school from its original Edwin Aldrin Elementary School, just three days after an in-person request from the second man to set foot on the moon.

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The 82-year-old astronaut, who legally changed his name to Buzz back in the 1980s, cringed at the sight of his old name when he paid a visit to the school Sept. 24.

Even in his talk to students about his historic moon landing, Aldrin mentioned how he'd once "talked to some lawyers" to make himself Buzz permanently.

District 54 Superintendent Ed Rafferty said there wasn't a moment's hesitation about fulfilling Aldrin's request, especially as it could be done quickly and at no cost.

The only change that needs to be made is to the school's letterhead, Rafferty explained. The sign outside the school has never had more than Aldrin's last name on it.

District 54 opened three new elementary schools in 1971 named after the members of the Apollo 11 moon mission -- Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins.

With last month's passing of Armstrong, Aldrin remains the last living member of the mission who actually walked on the moon. Collins remained in charge of the command vehicle Columbia while his two colleagues descended in the lunar module Eagle.

District 54 officials said there's only one other Aldrin School in the entire country.

Though the man himself wasn't at the original dedication of the Schaumburg school, he did attend its 25th anniversary in 1996.

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