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A Year-End Message from President John Smarrelli Jr.

Dear Friend of CBU,

Last December, I shared my thoughts about our need to improve and expand Christian Brothers University’s facilities and programs. This year, I am pleased to let you know about the tremendous strides we are making to improve facilities, enhance academic programs, and expand our community outreach – objectives that support our Lasallian mission of educating minds and touching hearts. I also want to share some good news about the exceptional level of giving we have experienced this year from alumni and other supporters.

  • The Rosa Deal School of the Arts, under construction throughout 2016, will open for use when classes resume in January 2017. Named for Dr. Rosa Deal, whose long service to CBU and commitment to our Lasallian mission helped transform the lives of countless students, this state-of-the-art facility houses undergraduate arts and humanities programs as well as graduate programs in education and Catholic studies. As you know, Rosa Deal is the first of several major campus improvements being funded by our Faith in Progress capital campaign.
  • In 2016, we also continued to expand our academic programming and community outreach. A notable example of progress toward both of these objectives is the innovative new partnership between the School of Art and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Students in our Art Therapy program will now be able to able to complete their field study course with clients through the museum’s therapy program. CBU is now empowered to deliver art therapy to underserved populations while training undergraduates in the discipline.
  • Our mission of providing a quality education to all continues to earn regional and national recognition. In addition to being ranked on college lists from U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and others, CBU has been designated a VETS Campus by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, in recognition of the university’s services and resources to student veterans. CBU is one of only 17 institutions in Tennessee and only the second private institution to achieve this distinction.
  • We experienced tremendous support from CBU alumni throughout 2016. In November, at our largest and most successful Bell Tower Gala yet, I had the great pleasure of announcing that we are rechristening CBU’s engineering school The Gadomski School of Engineering, in honor of alumnus Richard (Dick) Gadomski, as well as his family. A longtime supporter, Dick gave the university the largest single gift in our history this year – a show of support that touched us all deeply and will ensure continued innovation and excellence in our engineering programs.
  • The entire CBU family helped make 2016 a landmark year by funding scholarships and endowments, donating to our annual fund, and contributing to our Faith In Progress capital campaign. As of December 1, we have raised $42.8 million of our $70 million Faith In Progress campaign goal. I thank Board Chairman Mitch Graves and campaign co-chairs Dick Gadomski and Dave Nelson for their exceptional leadership and service.

I hope that you are as moved as I am by all of this good news, and as excited about what the future holds. Capital improvements, expanded programming, and greater community outreach can only be achieved with assistance from the CBU community. I hope that you will keep us moving forward by making a contribution today.

At this time of year, as we all pause to reflect and celebrate, I am deeply grateful for your support. On behalf of all of us at CBU, I wish you all the best, now and throughout 2017.


John Smarrelli Jr., Ph.D.