The ceremony, held on IWU’s campus in Marion, Ind., inducted Green into the university’s Society of World Changers. The award is given annually to individuals the school deems “role models who have exemplified the concept of world changers and whose lives can serve as an inspiration to future generations.”
Green’s daughter Darsee Lett introduced the CEO to an audience of IWU students, staff, faculty and dozens of Hobby Lobby executives and managers.
An exuberant Lett showered Green in shiny confetti for her introduction, joking to the audience that they could find it in the card aisle at Hobby Lobby.
“It’s really sparkly,” Lett added.
But the day was not all shiny confetti for Green, as he faced questions regarding the future of his company. Hobby Lobby is engaged in a months-long battle with the government over a new health care law requiring companies to cover emergency contraceptives for employees through its health plan. Hobby Lobby faced daily fines of $1.3 million beginning in January for its failure to comply based on the ownership’s feelings on the morality of the contraceptives, but the company shifted its plan year for employee health insurance. This action delayed the deadline by “several months.”
Green reaffirmed his stance on the matter in front of the ceremony’s hundreds of attendees.
“There’s one thing we will not do, and that’s paying for aborting unborn fetuses,” Green said.
The statement received a round of applause from the crowd.
In a pre-ceremony meeting with media, Green responded to rumors that Hobby Lobby will close all 500 of its stores across 43 states.
“That is not going to happen. That is on the Internet with my name supposedly signed to it, but we’re not planning on shutting any stores down,” Green said. “We’ve got a battle to fight, and it may take years, but we feel like in the end we will win.”
On the contrary, Green said Hobby Lobby intends to keep expanding while opposing the regulations.
“We continue to grow, we’re adding 35, 40 stores a year. And so for us, as we grow and we earn more profits, we see that as just more ministry,” Green added. “So as long as there’s more ministries needed, then there’s more growth needed, so we continue to plan to grow.”
Dr. Henry Smith, IWU’s soon-to-be-retired president, presented Green with a presidential citation for “model Christian values and the highest morals in business.”