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.
A biochemist by training, Dr. Smarrelli has retained his faculty status in his discipline while holding administrative positions. He earned his doctorate and master's degrees from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and has conducted postdoctoral work in biology at the University of Virginia. Over the years in his role as professor of biology, Dr. Smarrelli has received numerous awards for teaching, has published articles in scientific journals, obtained funding for his research on gene structure from the National Science Foundation, and authored textbooks as well as multiple College Board publications regarding the Advanced Placement Program.
Since arriving in Memphis in 2009, Dr. Smarrelli has been an active member of the Memphis community focusing on economic development and social services including involvement with Memphis schools, economic development groups, serving on the boards of the East Memphis Rotary, Catholic Charities, The Economic Club, the Salvation Army and the Shelby County Transition Planning Commission. John and his wife, Eloise, have three children, Kristina (age 34), Nicholas (age 27), and Elizabeth (age 23) and attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.