Hobby Lobby Founders to Speak at Spring Commencement, Receive Honorary Degrees
April 20, 2015
Hobby Lobby co-founder Barbara Green will present the 2015 Spring Commencement address at OBU. The event will be held Friday, May 15, at 3 p.m. in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus in Shawnee. The ceremony will celebrate the graduation of nearly 300 students.
Green is the founding partner, along with her husband, David, of Hobby Lobby. She is a native of Altus, Oklahoma, and grew up as a member of First Baptist Church in Altus. The Greens launched their business producing miniature picture frames in the family's garage, and opened their first retail space in Oklahoma City in 1972. The business has since grown to over 600 stores in 47 states with approximately 30,000 employees, making it the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. The retail giant is listed as a major private corporation on Forbes and Fortune's lists of America's largest private companies.
She has served on the board of directors of the City Rescue Mission for 20 years and as chairperson for the mission's "Seeing the Light" capital campaign. She also serves on the board of trustees of Northpoint Bible College in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
She serves as the spokeswoman for Hobby Lobby and for the Green family. The nation recently met her as she stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and responded to the landmark decision that ruled in favor of the Green family and Hobby Lobby regarding a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Through her family's public witness, she has raised the profile of the enduring cause of religious liberty, showing that the conscience of the business owner belongs to God and no human government, and reminding us that religious freedom is a gift from God and not a grant from the state.
During the commencement ceremony, OBU will honor both Barbara and David Green with the Honorary Doctor of Christian Ethics degree.
David Green is the CEO and co-founder of Hobby Lobby along with his wife, Barbara. Hobby Lobby is the only retail company of its size, other than Chick-fil-A, to close on Sundays, and is also the only billion-dollar retail company to close at 8 p.m. each evening. The company does this out of respect for its thousands of employees. He and Hobby Lobby actively share the good news of Christ, with over 200 million copies of the gospels distributed thus far.
The Greens have been married 55 years and have three children. Their son, Mart, is the founder and CEO of Mardel Christian and Educational Supply and of Every Tribe Entertainment. Their son, Steve, is the president of Hobby Lobby. Their daughter, Darsee Green Lett, is the Creative Director for Hobby Lobby.