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Bell Tower Gala Honorees

Bell Tower Gala 2018 Honorees

Brother Chris Englert, FSC (’77)
Distinguished Alumnus

BROTHER CHRIS ENGLERT, FSC is president of Christian Brothers High School. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH. A product of Catholic schools through college, Brother Chris attended St. Catharine grade school and La Salle High School. After high school, he joined the Christian Brothers and came to Memphis to attend Christian Brothers College, where he graduated in 1977 with a degree in the humanities. From Memphis, Brother Chris returned for four years to his high school alma mater, La Salle High School, to teach religion and English. He received a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from La Salle University in Philadelphia, and later a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 1981, he moved to Newport, KY, where he taught religion and English until 1984. The next move took Br. Chris to Kansas City’s O’Hara High School and the position of dean of students. Then in 1989, it was back to Memphis, where he served as assistant principal of CBHS for one year and became president in 1990. Brother Chris has made an indelible mark on thousands of students and well honors St. John Baptist de La Salle in his daily life of faith, service, and education. 

Dr. James Parker 
NAB Teaching Excellence Award

DR. JAMES PARKER has been an extraordinary teacher for over 40 years at CBU, where he serves as professor of Business Law and Economics in the School of Business. He received an Master of Arts in Economics from Memphis State University in 1972 and began teaching at Christian Brothers College in 1972. In 1979, he earned a J.D. from Memphis State University. In 1983, he was tenured at CBU, promoted to associate professor in 1984 and professor in 1993. Dr. Parker is described by his peers as “quiet and hardworking with a good sense of humor.” He is beloved by his students, who describe his classes as “challenging but rewarding.” Dr. Parker is licensed by the State of Tennessee and is a member of the American Bar Association and continues to be active in the legal field. 

Dr. John Smarrelli Jr. 
Special Tribute

DR. JOHN SMARRELLI JR. is the 22nd President of Christian Brothers University and its first permanent lay president. Over the past 25 years, he has served in senior administrative positions at Loyola University in Chicago, IL and Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. He combines his passion for faith and science to lead Christian Brothers University, a position he has held since 2009. During his career at CBU, he has overseen the institution of new degree programs in Nursing, Physician Assistant Studies, and Healthcare Management, as well as record enrollment in the traditional undergraduate program. Dr. Smarrelli has championed the first phase of CBU’s Faith in Progress Campaign, raising almost $50 million dollars. Beyond his role as president of CBU, Smarrelli works to improve the Memphis community by focusing on education, economic development and social services, including involvement with numerous Memphis schools, the Memphis Rotary Club, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Memphis Talent Dividend, Teacher Effectiveness Initiative Advisory Board, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. He also serves as board chair of Crosstown High School, New Day Schools, and Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.