Friends, family and elected officials gathered in Harlem for the renaming of a school after late political consultant Bill Lynch Jr.

PS 368 Hamilton Heights School will now be known as the William “Bill” Lynch School. Lynch ran his own consulting firm, Bill Lynch Associates, LLC, and served as chief of staff to the Manhattan borough president for former Mayor David Dinkins and deputy mayor of New York City for intergovernmental relations, also for Dinkins.

Lynch passed away in 2013 and is survived by his wife Mary, children Stacy and Bill III, and grandson Bill IV.

An outdoor ceremony for the renaming was held on Thursday, June 17 on West 146th between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. City officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Assemblyman Al Taylor, State Sen. Robert Jackson, Councilmember Mark Levine and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attended the ceremony and shared memories.

“This was indeed a special moment for us, for our family and for this community,” Stacy said. “We appreciate the renaming of the school after my father. He was a man of value and substance. I look forward to working with the school community as we create programs and identify resources that will help these children here in this district and all over the city thrive.”

Lynch was an important advisor to Dinkins during a period of unrest in Brooklyn and fiscal crisis citywide. After serving in government, Lynch went on to work as a political advisor to various candidates and campaigns, including Bill Clinton and Charles Rangel, and Mario Cuomo.

“Bill Lynch was a larger-than-life figure in New York City politics,” said de Blasio. “Whether he was on the campaign trail, or at City Hall, he always fought for economic and social justice. Now, we will continue that legacy by inspiring generations of New Yorkers—including those right here at PS 368—to make a difference in this city.”

Department of Education Chancellor Meisha Porter said Lynch’s legacy of mentorship and commitment to civic responsibility will live on through the school.

“Our young people will be able to walk past these doors every day and walk in this building and learn about a man who changed New York City,” she said. “Bill Lynch dedicated his life to service in New York City [and] he loved this community. He believed that fostering young people, encouraging them and becoming active in their communities in this moment when that is so important, was not only rewarding, but the responsibility of us all.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial, and Boys & Girls Club of Harlem Executive Director Dominique Jones were also in attendance. Sharpton said Lynch’s name deserves to have a building named after him because his work in politics changed the city.

“Many names we need to take down. This name we need to hold up,” he said. “When this city faced some of his worst days, he was a light and a dark tunnel. And now as we name this building after him, may the students that come through here learn of the legend of Bill Lynch.”