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Coordinates: 35°07′39″N 89°58′56″W / 35.127376°N 89.982297°W / 35.127376; -89.982297

Christian Brothers University
Motto Virtus et Scientia
Motto in English Character and Knowledge
Established 1871
Type Private
Endowment $27,067,233 [1]
President John Smarrelli, Jr., Ph.D.
Faculty 110
Students 1779[2]
Undergraduates 1455[2]
Postgraduates 324
Doctoral students N/A
Location Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Campus Urban, 76 acres
Colors Maroon & Grey          
Nickname Buccaneers and
Lady Buccaneers
Mascot Bucky the Buccaneer
Affiliations Roman Catholic

Christian Brothers University is the oldest collegiate degree-granting institution in the city of Memphis. The university is run by the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle, the patron saint of teachers. It is located in Midtown Memphis near Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.



Saint John Baptist de la Salle

Christian Brothers College was founded November 19, 1871, by members of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The Brothers came to Memphis at the request of the people and clergy of the city, after more than a decade of efforts to persuade the Brothers to open a college in Memphis.[3]

Christian Brothers University traces its origins to priest and educational innovator, St. John Baptist de la Salle.[4] De la Salle began a system of Christian schools in which teachers assist parents in the educational, ethical, and religious formation of their children. To continue his spiritual and pedagogical vision, de la Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, known today as the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

Today, the spirit and tradition of the Lasallian community thrives in 81 countries and in more than 1,000 educational institutions. Over 4,000 De La Salle Christian Brothers, along with 56,000 Lasallian lay colleagues (such as Lasallian Volunteers), serve over 750,000 students and their families worldwide.[5] In the United States, there are over 100 Lasallian educational institutions.

Christian Brothers College officially became Christian Brothers University in June 1990.[3]



Schools, deans, and degrees

School Dean Undergraduate Degrees Master's Degrees
School of Arts Dr. Marius M. Carriere Applied Psychology, Elementary Education, English, English for Corporate Communications, Fine Arts, History, Psychology, Religion & Philosophy Catholic Studies, Education, Teaching
School of Business Dr. Kristin Prien, Dr. Sarah Pitts Accounting, Human Resources Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, Sports Management Business Administration
School of Engineering Dr. Eric B. Welch Biochemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Engineering Management
School of Sciences Dr. Johnny Holmes Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Mathematics & Computer Science, Natural Science, Physics N/A


  • Named one of the Best Southeastern Colleges by The Princeton Review, 2010[6]
  • Ranked 19th for Master's Universities (South) by U.S. News, 2010[7]
  • Ranked 3rd for Economic Diversity Among Top-Ranked Schools: Master's Universities (South) by U.S. News, 2010[8]
  • Ranked 7th for Racial Diversity: Master's Universities (South) by U.S. News, 2010[9]
  • Received "Best in Memphis" award from the Memphis City Beautiful Commission, 2006[10]

Study abroad

As a member of the Lasallian Consortium,[11] i.e. the seven Lasallian universities in the United States, CBU offers study abroad semesters in Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain.[12] Additionally, CBU offers study abroad courses during spring and fall vacations. Upcoming courses include travel in England, France, Italy, Mexico, and Uganda. Medical missions to Haiti are available but have been postponed for the present.[13] Study abroad is optional for students but is required for completion of the global studies minor.[14]


CBU has one of the most diverse student bodies in the South.[15] 51% of students are White-American (non-Hispanic), 33% are African-American (non-Hispanic), 5% are Asian-American or Pacific Islander-American, 2% are Hispanic-American, and 2% are international students. 6% of students have an unknown ethnicity.[16] Students hail from more than 28 states and 14 countries.[17]

Although CBU is a Catholic university, only 23% of students are Catholic. Religious observances are not required, and 32 different faiths are represented in the student body.[17]

Notably, 99% of Christian Brothers University undergraduates receive financial aid, broken down as institutional grants (98%), state/local grants (68%), federal grants (29%), and student loans (58%).[2]

There are 110 full-time faculty members. All of them hold at least master's degrees, and 89% hold doctorates or terminal degrees. No courses are taught by teaching assistants. The student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1.[17] School of Sciences graduating classes from 2002 to 2006 boasted a 91% acceptance rate for medical school, and an 87% acceptance for pharmacy school.[18]


Buckman Hall


Christian Brothers University is located on a 75-acre wooded campus in the heart of Midtown, Memphis, four miles east of Downtown.

Kenrick Hall is the oldest building on campus, constructed in 1939 as the original Christian Brothers High School.

The university's architecture follows the Georgian style popular at the time of the campus' relocation to East Parkway. Arch-covered walkways traverse the main campus, allowing students and faculty to get to most buildings shaded from the weather. The campus is enclosed by an iron fence with brick accents with entrances on East Parkway South, Central Avenue, and Avery Avenue.

Outside organizations housed on campus

Canale Arena

Canale Arena, originally called De La Salle Gymnasium, was completed in 1950.[19] At that time, it was the largest indoor arena in the city of Memphis.[20]

The arena was fully renovated in 2004 and has a capacity of 1,000.[20]

Student life


CBU is a Division II team and a member of the Gulf South Conference. Buccaneer teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis. Lady Buccaneer teams include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

The Lady Buccaneers and Buccaneers have won multiple athletic competitions, including the 2002 Division II women's soccer championship[21] and the 2008 GSC men's basketball championship.[22]

Greek life

21% of male students and 24% of female students are members of fraternities and sororities.[1]

Campus Greek councils include the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Council (NPC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).

IFC Fraternities Panhellenic Sororities
Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ): 1996-present Alpha Sigma Alpha (ΑΣΑ): 1986-1992
Pi Kappa Phi (ΠΚΦ): 1983-2001 Alpha Sigma Tau (ΑΣΤ): 2005-present
Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ): 1989-present Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ): 1994-present
Tau Kappa Epsilon (ΤΚΕ): 1979-present Zeta Tau Alpha (ΖΤΑ): 1985-present
NPHC Fraternities NPHC Sororities
Kappa Alpha Psi (ΚΑΨ): 1999-present Alpha Kappa Alpha (ΑΚΑ): 1987-present
Phi Beta Sigma (ΦΒΣ): 1996-present Delta Sigma Theta (ΔΣΘ): 1998-present
Sigma Gamma Rho (ΣΓΡ): 2001-present
Professional Fraternity
Delta Sigma Pi (ΔΣΠ): 1964-present
Local & Non-Traditional Fraternities & Sororities
Gamma Theta Phi (ΓΘΦ / Gamma): 1964-1997
Knights of Columbus (K of C): 1972-1988
Womens Association to Motivate Spirit (WAMS): 1978-1995

Honor societies and professional organizations

Chapters of a number of honor societies exist at CBU to recognize excellence in academia and leadership. Active honor societies and their specialties include: Alpha Chi (general academic), Beta Beta Beta (biology), The Order of Omega (fraternity and sorority members), Phi Alpha Theta (history), Psi Chi (psychology), Sigma Tau Delta (English), and Tau Beta Pi (engineering).[23]

Professional organizations include: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Electrical Engineers, Society of Physics Students, and the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.[23]

Engineering competitions

ASCE / AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition

Civil engineering students also compete in the annual Student Steel Bridge Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. Scale bridges are constructed; judging is based on speed of construction, strength and durability of the bridge, and more.[24]

ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition

Civil engineering students construct concrete canoes to compete at annual Deep South regional conferences for student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers. These canoes must be able to float and support the weight of several students as they will be raced.[25]

IEEE Robotics Competition

Electrical and computer engineering students annually participate in a robotics Competition organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The 2008 competition was held in Huntsville, Alabama.[26]

NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Mechanical engineering students gear up against competitors from schools across the country to build and race vehicles that can travel over simulated lunar terrain. The competition is held annually at the United States Space & Rocket Center.[27]

Student traditions

CBU's iconic Bell Tower is reminiscent of the bell tower at the headquarters of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Rome.

Painting The Rock

Students traditionally paint The Rock. Painting The Rock is spray painting an on-campus boulder, usually to show off one's Greek letters and symbols.

Painting The Rock has its own rules of etiquette. The Rock can only be painted between sunset and sunrise. Any group currently next to The Rock is guarding it, and it cannot be taken by another group at that time (although the occasional fight has happened in the past). The Rock can be painted several times in one night; however, it is a gentlemanly tradition among the fraternities not to paint over a sorority Rock for at least two to three days.

The term taking The Rock refers to adding a completely new coat of paint whereas tagging is just spray painting marks on top of someone else's paint, typically to add the names of the painters or insults to the current holder of The Rock.

Older Rock traditions (until the 1970s) include paint fights between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen the first few days of school, but these have been discontinued.

Tunneling, arching, and climbing the Bell Tower

Tunneling is traveling across campus through the school's underground tunnels. Similarly, arching is traveling across campus over the top of arch-covered walkways. Students have also been known to climb the Bell Tower.[28]

See also


  1. ^ a b America's Best Colleges 2008. "Christian Brothers University." U.S. News & World Report. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Christian Brothers University. National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 30, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "CBU History." Christian Brothers University. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  4. ^ "Lasallian Terminology." Christian Brothers University. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  5. ^ "Lasallian Tradition." Christian Brothers University. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  6. ^ "Best Southeastern Colleges." The Princeton Review. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  7. ^ Best Colleges 2010. [1] U.S. News & World Report.
  8. ^ Best Colleges 2010. "Best Colleges: Economic Diversity Among Top-Ranked Schools: Master's Universities (South)." U.S. News & World Report.
  9. ^ Best Colleges 2010. "Best Colleges: Racial Diversity: Master's Universities (South)."] U.S. News & World Report.
  10. ^ Kerr, John. "CBU Receives 'City Beautiful' Award." Christian Brothers University. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  11. ^ "Semesters Abroad" Christian Brothers University. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  12. ^ "Travel/Study Abroad 2008-2009" Christian Brothers University. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  13. ^ "Haiti Medical Missions - Fall and Spring Breaks*" Christian Brothers University. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  14. ^ "Global Studies Minor" Christian Brothers University. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  15. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008. "Campus Ethnic Diversity: University-Master's (South)." U.S. News & World Report. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  16. ^ "Christian Brothers University." National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 18, 2007.
  17. ^ a b c "Take a Closer Look at CBU." Christian Brothers University. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  18. ^ School of Sciences Newsletter: September 2006. "Featuring 'Natural Science' and the 'Professional School Acceptance Stats'" Christian Brothers University. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  19. ^ "CBU Chronology". Christian Brothers University. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  20. ^ a b Kerr, John (December 1, 2004). "Canale Family Foundation Provides Lead Gift: CBU to Dedicate Renovated Arena on December 10". Christian Brothers University. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  21. ^ Yovich, Rudy (December 9, 2002). "Christian Brothers University Women's Soccer Team 2002 NCAA Division II Champions!". Christian Brothers University. Retrieved 2008-05-29. 
  22. ^ "Bucs Hold On For First GSC Championship, 93-89: Kohs named Most Outstanding Player, Weybright All-Tournament". Christian Brothers University Athletics. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  23. ^ a b "Clubs & Organizations" Christian Brothers University. Accessed February 23, 2009.
  24. ^ "Student Steel Bridge Competition: 2008 Rules (page 4)". ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC). 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  25. ^ "ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition". American Society of Civil Engineers. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  26. ^ "IEEE SoutheastCon 2008 - Huntsville, Alabama". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. March 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  27. ^ "Competition, The". NASA. March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  28. ^ "Class Portrait 2007." Christian Brothers University. Accessed October 1, 2007.

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