NORTHFIELD (AP) -- Grand Canyon University, a for-profit Christian college based in Phoenix, Ariz., has been chosen by the billionaire Green family of Oklahoma, to receive the historic 217-acre campus that once housed the Northfield Mount Hermon prep school.
The Green family of Oklahoma, who founded the Hobby Lobby craft store chain, will give the campus to Grand Canyon, which has 7,000 traditional students and 40,000 online students. Grand Canyon has said it hopes to open the campus in 2013, pending state approval, and host some 5,000 students in its first year.
The campus is the former home of the Northfield Mount Hermon prep school, which was founded by evangelist D.L. Moody. The Greens offered to give the campus for free to an organization that would honor Moody's commitment to traditional Christian teachings.
For-profit Grand Canyon was the choice after the other finalist, a mission board of the Southern Baptist Convention, backed out.
The two were the last standing after more than 100 organizations expressed interest in the property, which was purchased by the Greens in 2009 for $100,000 after the prep school left. The property has been valued at $20 million.
The Greens originally intended to give the campus to a new college named for Christian scholar C.S. Lewis, but plans fell through and the family began offering it to theologically