Mart Green Could Be ORU's Financial Savior

Wednesday, November 28th 2007, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

The family of Mart Green has pledged $70 million to Oral Roberts University. News On 6’s Emory Bryan reports that's enough money to eliminate the debt at ORU and build a student center. Green says he didn't speak to anyone at ORU about the donation until after Richard Roberts resigned, and he says that was the turning point when he felt comfortable change was underway.

Mart Green is the man who decided last weekend to bail out Oral Roberts University, but he says the main problem at the school is not the finances.

"The assets that excited us was the faculty students and alumni, the other issues, the finances, those can take care of themselves and we told them you do not have a financial problem, your problem is not financial, I told the board, it's a spiritual problem," said Mart Green.

Green, in announcing his family's donation to ORU, didn't shy away from questioning the actions of ORU's current board of regents.

"As individuals I don't know a single one of them, but as a board, they were at the helm when some of this happened, so some changes have got to happen," said Green.

Mart Green is the Founder and CEO of Mardel, a Christian supply store with 28 locations. His father created the national Hobby Lobby craft store chain, where the family made the bulk of its fortune, estimated at well over a billion dollars.

The gift to ORU, as much as $70 million, will be the family's largest donation to any single cause.

"It was the students and the thought of this college closing really worked on our hearts, it was a family decision," said Green.

The family has also funded production of Christian films.

"I saw the power and opportunity of film to shape culture with the stories that we tell," said Mart Green.

While the family has four of their stores in Tulsa, the Green family was relatively unknown before the offer to ORU.

They intend to closely examine the practices at the school and Green has made it clear that while the $8 million came with no strings attached, the remaining $62 million will come only with change.

"They have got to re-establish trust and we want to be part of the process, should they choose to allow us to make the significant changes we know are going to have to happen," said Green.

Watch the video: Businessman Mart Green Discusses His ORU Gift

WEB EXTRA: Complete Interview With Mart Green

For complete coverage of the ORU lawsuit, click here.