OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Christian University will honor the Green family of Hobby Lobby fame at the 14th-annual OC Associates Gala April 6.
The family will receive the university’s “Lee Allan Smith Spirit of Oklahoma Award,” named for an OC friend, civic leader and tireless proponent of Oklahoma City and the state of Oklahoma.
David and Barbara Green, the patriarch and matriarch of the Green family, took out a $600 loan in 1970 to begin making picture frames out of their home. That small business grew into Hobby Lobby, the world’s largest privately owned arts-and-crafts retailer.
Hobby Lobby has 32,000 employees working in 750 stores across 47 states. In addition to its 9.2 million-square-foot corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City, the company has offices in Hong Kong and China.
“David and Barbara Green can be examples to us all,” OC president John deSteiguer said. “David’s mom told him, ‘Just look for what you can do for the Lord,’ and he has made that his mission by humbling serving his employees and by spending millions to share the Gospel all over the world. Despite being wildly successful, David and Barbara want God calling the shots. And that’s true for the Green family as a whole.”
The Greens’ children have carried on the family’s dedication to spiritual entrepreneurship and ministry. In 1981, Mart Green founded Mardel Christian and Educational Supply, a chain of Christian education stores. He also produced the films End of the Spear and Beyond the Gates of Splendor.
Steve Green, author of Faith in America and The Bible in America, became president of Hobby Lobby in 2004. He also serves as chairman of the board for Museum of the Bible, home to one of the world’s largest collections of rare biblical artifacts. The 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible will open later this year in Washington, three blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
Darsee Green Lett is vice president of art and creative at Hobby Lobby. Her husband, Stan Lett, is Hobby Lobby’s executive vice president.
Oklahoma Christian’s previous Lee Allan Smith honorees include: Oklahoma City mayors Mick Cornett, Kirk Humphreys and Ron Norick; former Oklahoma governors and first ladies George and Donna Nigh, Frank and Cathy Keating, and Brad and Kim Henry; Oklahoma City weathermen Gary England, Damon Lane and Mike Morgan; University of Oklahoma basketball coaches (and OC alumni) Sherri Coale and Jan Ross; and former Oklahoma City Thunder star Serge Ibaka.
The Associates Gala is a thank-you dinner for annual donors of $1,000 or more to OC’s unrestricted scholarship fund, which helps make a first-class Christian education more affordable for students from Oklahoma and beyond.
OC Associates receive two complimentary tickets to the event and may buy extra tickets for $100 each. Tickets must be purchased in advance; they are available by calling (405) 425-5094 or via email at email@example.com. More information is available at oc.edu/associates.
Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.
OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.