The family that owns Hobby Lobby, Inc., has received the 2012 Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Philanthropy Award. The award was given to acknowledge the family's support of Christian colleges, including Indiana Wesleyan University.
David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, and his wife Barbara accepted the award on behalf of the entire Green family. Barbara Green serves on the IWU Board of Trustees.
Dr. Paul Corts, CCCU President, and Dr. Henry Smith, IWU President, presented the award during the annual meeting of CCCU presidents in Washington, D.C. Smith serves on the council's board of directors.
"This award is given to those who have been financially blessed through their Christ-centered business practices and who have followed our Master's commandment to live generously, including support for the cause of higher education," Corts said.
Smith noted that Green family has provided generous support for both brick-and-mortar and scholarly endeavors at several CCCU institutions. The family most recently committed $2.5 million toward the construction of a facility for Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University.
"You have joined us in seeking to understand the unique challenges facing Christian higher education - and in doing the hard work of addressing those challenges with both financial support and creative solutions as governing board members and engaged philanthropists involved in institutional decision-making," Smith said.
Corts also acknowledged the Green family's ongoing commitment to cultivating the study of the Bible around the world. The family developed the "Passages" art exhibition, an interactive displat of the history of the Bible that has appeared at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art as well as in Vatican City.
The "Passages" exhibit, which currently is housed in Atlanta, Georgia, is one part of the Green family's personal collection of biblical artifacts, which includes more than 44,000 items.
The educational and research arm of the collection, the Green Scholars Initiative, promises to facilitate the study of the Bible for generations to come. More than 30 colleges, many of them CCCU institutions, have begun research projects as part of the initiative.
Dr. Jerry Pattengale, an assistant provost at IWU, is the director of the Green Scholars Initiative.