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OBU renames former St. Gregory's campus

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Benedictine Hall was the most prominent building on the St. Gregory's University campus. Oklahoma Baptist University has renamed the campus, in part, to honor the Green family of Hobby Lobby. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman Archives]
Benedictine Hall was the most prominent building on the St. Gregory's University campus. Oklahoma Baptist University has renamed the campus, in part, to honor the Green family of Hobby Lobby. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman Archives]

SHAWNEE — Oklahoma Baptist University has renamed it's new addition, the former St. Gregory's University campus, to honor the Green family of Hobby Lobby.

Paula Gower, OBU associate vice president of marketing and communications, said the Southern Baptist school has named the former Catholic university property the" OBU Green Campus."

Hobby Lobby, an Okahoma City-based retailer with stores nationwide, purchased the St. Gregory's property in 2018, after the school declared bankruptcy. The retailer then leased it for a nominal fee to OBU, whose main campus is nearby.

"We decided to call it the OBU Green Campus for two reasons," Gower said Wednesday of the name change.

"The first is to honor the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and to thank them for allowing us to lease the property. The second is because green is one of our university colors."

Gower said OBU recently installed two temporary vinyl signs so people coming to the campus would know that OBU is leasing the property and that the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art and St. Gregory’s Abbey are still housed on the campus.

She said OBU has been using its newest campus for a variety of activities. The school's athletic teams have used some of the gyms for practices and there are plans to use the theater as a venue for some of OBU's fine arts events. Gower said academic spaces are being evaluated by faculty to determine their use in the coming semesters. She said OBU had not been able use any of the classroom or lab space until the current academic year.

Gower said other parts of the OBU Green campus will be used for meeting spaces, to host events and to supplement and enhance OBU's ability to rent spaces for community use.

Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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