NORTHFIELD, Mass. - (Business Wire) Property purchased by Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. from Northfield Mount Hermon School will become the home of a new college to be established by the C.S. Lewis Foundation, the organizations announced Wednesday.
Hobby Lobby, a privately held national retail chain of more than 400 arts and crafts stores, purchased property in Northfield, Mass., from the Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH). The property will become home of C.S. Lewis College, a college of great books and visual and performing arts.
The announcement was made on the Northfield campus by representatives from the three organizations. NMH, a boarding school with 630 students from around the country and the world, consolidated its program onto its nearby Mount Hermon campus in 2005 and has been seeking a new owner for the Northfield campus. As owner of the Northfield property, Hobby Lobby will invest more than $5 million in operations and capital improvement projects in support of the creation of the college.
For information on the transaction and the new college, visit www.cslewiscollege.org.
“This is a win for the C.S. Lewis Foundation, a win for the Northfield Mount Hermon School and a win for Hobby Lobby,” said Steven Green, president of Hobby Lobby. “Our three organizations all care deeply about education and establishing a worthwhile mission on the historic Northfield campus. We also share a vision of preserving and honoring the legacy of D.L. Moody.”
Green said Hobby Lobby has worked with NMH and the C.S. Lewis Foundation to ensure that alumni can continue to visit the Northfield campus.
The C.S. Lewis Foundation has been considering several locations throughout the United States for the college. Foundation officials plan to open the college in 2012, pending appropriate approvals and accreditations.
“Today, as never before, young people are seeking an education that fully prepares them to understand and engage contemporary culture in a meaningful and creative way,” said Dr. Stan Mattson, founder and president of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. “The scenic and historic Northfield campus is an ideal setting for such a journey. We have already begun our work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in hopes of opening C.S. Lewis College for students in the fall of 2012.”
The college is projected to enroll 400 students and employ a faculty of 40 and a staff of 45. Within five to seven years of opening, the annual budget of the college is expected to exceed $20 million.
“This news is wonderful for our organizations and also for the town of Northfield and the local economy,” said Thomas K. Sturtevant, Northfield Mount Hermon head of school. “As a well-established center for academic and community development, NMH is excited to welcome new neighbors whose mission will attract international scholars and active members of the local community. We are also extremely pleased that Hobby Lobby plans to take great care of the campus and its buildings, which have important historic value and are rooted in the hearts of so many of our alumni.”
About Northfield Mount Hermon School
NMH is a coeducational boarding school of 630 students in grades 9–12 and a postgraduate year. The school, founded by Christian evangelist and educator D.L. Moody in 1879, engages the intellect, compassion and talents of its students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose. At the NMH campus in Mount Hermon, Mass., 90 faculty members teach 200 major and 20 Advanced Placement courses. NMH students live and learn on more than 1,600 acres in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.nmhschool.org.
About Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.
Based in Oklahoma City, Hobby Lobby and its affiliates, including Mardel and Hemispheres, employ more than 18,000 across the nation. Hobby Lobby was founded by David Green in 1972. The company has grown from one 300 square-foot store to more than 430 locations in 35 states. The company’s revenue in 2008 was $1.8 billion. Hobby Lobby carries no long-term debt, is open only 66 hours per week and is closed on Sundays. For more information, visit www.hobbylobby.com.
About the C.S. Lewis Foundation
Inspired by the life and legacy of C.S. Lewis, the C.S. Lewis Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the renewal of Christian thought and creative expression throughout the world of learning and the culture at large. Since its founding in 1986, the C.S. Lewis Foundation has pursued its mission through several initiatives including regional conferences and retreats conducted throughout the U.S., the C.S. Lewis Faculty Forum, and the C.S. Lewis Summer Institute, convened triennially in the Cities and Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, England. The Foundation also owns and has restored C.S. Lewis’s beloved Oxford home, “The Kilns,” which it operates as a Study Centre for visiting resident scholars. As a culminating objective of its mission, the Foundation has long envisioned establishing C.S. Lewis College. For more information, visit www.cslewis.org.
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.
Chad Previch, 405-487-9249
Northfield Mount Hermon School
Heather Sullivan, 617-990-6662
Rachael Hanley, 413-498-3357
C.S. Lewis Foundation
Steven Elmore, 909-793-0949