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Take my campus ... please!

Gazette staff November 7th, 2012

The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby and Mardel stores, can sell everything from overpriced furniture to plastic Jesus night lights to bad end-times fiction, but they can’t give away a free school. Twice this year, the Oklahoma family has tried to donate a 217-acre campus in Northfield, Mass., only to be rejected by the objects of their charity.

Credit: Brad Gregg

The original plan was to convert the 43-building campus into C.S. Lewis College. Lewis, who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia as well as a number of books on Christianity, was a British Anglican, but he is beloved by millions of evangelicals who either don’t know he was anglo-Catholic or only read children’s books.

After the C.S. Lewis Foundation rejected the offer, the Greens offered the school to Grand Canyon University of Phoenix, Ariz. The school initially said yes, but rescinded that acceptance after realizing there would be unanticipated costs, mainly related to the city of Northfield not wanting them there. And, come to think of it, Grand Canyon University of Massachusetts would have sounded a bit odd.

Company president Steve Green said the family is beginning a new search for the next candidate, and we’d like to recommend a donation to Brigham Young. As of this election cycle, Mormons appear to be the new evangelicals.

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