Clive Staples Lewis was a celebrated Anglo-Irish novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, lay theologian and Christian apologist whose impact and influence lives on.

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C S Lewis College announced

December 16th, 2009 | Skip to comments

The C. S. Lewis Foundation announced today (Dec. 16, 2009) the plans for the founding of C S Lewis College near Amherst, MA. The details from their press release:

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

“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

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

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

More details can be found here:


  1. The Boston Herald reported that NMH was paid the grand total of $100,000 for the 217 acres and buildings. That’s $460 an acre. But, the school claims it will be saving $1.4 million a year in maintenance costs. Sounds a bit high to me. In any event, the prep school’s main priority seemed to be to find a new owner that would firmly commit to restoring and maintaining this beautiful campus, that holds so many memories for the alumni who were heartbroken when the campus was closed. The Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies, which for more than 100 years had been one of America’s preeminent girl’s prep schools, lives on at the coeducational Northfield Mount Hermon School, a few miles away.

    Comment by RedNovember — 23 December 2009 @ 10:02 AM

  2. Also, you may find some of the comments from alumni and friends of NMH school on the sale of the Northfield campus to be of interest. Many of them are truly touching, and help explain the reasons why NMH seemingly gave the campus away for a pittance. Keep in mind that the $100,000 sale price was not a part of the announcement, and none of the comment initial comments were aware of this token amount.

    Comment by RedNovember — 23 December 2009 @ 10:43 AM

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