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Dates, Details Announced for the 2016 Bell Tower Gala

MEMPHIS — This week, Christian Brothers University (CBU)  announced the honorees and details for its 2016 Bell Tower Gala. The fifth annual Bell Tower Gala will be held on November 12 in the Tennessee Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Memphis at 6:00 p.m. This year’s gala is generously presented by FedEx Corporation.

During the evening’s program, guests will get the opportunity to relive the history of Lasallian education in Memphis, and ‘break ground’ for a new era of CBU in the coming years through updates on the university’s Faith in Progress Capital Campaign and other exciting news from the Board of Trustees. The Bell Tower Gala will also be a great way to reconnect with old friends, professors, and members of the CBU community. Bishop Martin D. Holley, the newly appointed fifth bishop of the Memphis Diocese, will be in attendance to lead prayer and conduct part of the evening’s program. There will also be a “Whiskey Pull” and a “Wine Pull” available, where guests will randomly select a bottle of whiskey or wine whose value could range anywhere from $25 to $200 in value.

The 2016 Bell Tower Gala will honor four individuals who have embodied the Lasallian core principles through their life’s work. Dave Berges (’71) will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award, while Gabriela “Gabby” Salinas (’11) will be honored as the Distinguished Young Alumnus for her work in malaria research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Also receiving awards will be Dr. Emily A. Holmes, associate professor of Religion & Philosophy, who will accept the National Alumni Board’s Teaching Excellence Award, and School of Engineering professor emeritus Dr. Ray W. Brown, who will be honored with the Brother Lawrence Egbert Award for Distinguished Service.

All proceeds from the Bell Tower Gala will support CBU’s academic programs and scholarships throughout the year, and help ensure the future of students and the community in years to come.

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About the honorees:

DAVID BERGES graduated from CBU in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He joined General Electric’s Manufacturing Management Program and spent 15 years in a variety of manufacturing and management roles. He later moved to positions of increasing responsibility in Barnes Group and Honeywell. In 2001, he became chairman and CEO of Hexcel, an advanced composite materials company with a market capitalization of $200 million focused on aerospace. When he retired from Hexcel at the end of 2013, the company was worth $4.6 billion. He is married to Debra Kendall, and they are generous contributors to CBU.

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GABRIELA SALINAS is a 2011 graduate of the CBU Biochemistry program. She also holds a Microbiology degree from University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where she is currently seeking her PhD in Immunology and Biochemistry. Gabby has embodied the core values of Faith, Service and Community though her work, education focus and community involvement. She has served as such a phenomenal example of CBU alumni success that one her younger brothers is enrolled as a current CBU student. 

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DR. EMILY A. HOLMES joined the Religion & Philosophy faculty at CBU in 2008. She holds degrees from Emory University (Ph.D. 2008), Harvard University (M.T.S. 1999), University of Cambridge (M.Phil. 1998), and Tulane University (B.A. 1996). Dr. Holmes’ research interests include medieval theology and mysticism, women’s writing practices, feminist theory and theology, and food ethics and the spirituality of eating. 

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DR. RAY W. BROWN has been active in the CBU community ever since he began as a student in the early ’60s. During his collegiate career, he was nominated for sophomore class president and later elected president of the Student Government. After graduating, he rejoined CBU as an assistant professor in 1967 and gained tenure in 1974. Dr. Brown was also the chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department for several years and served as Dean of Engineering from 1992 to 1999. Dr. Brown has now been teaching at Christian Brothers University for 49 years. His research and consulting work are invaluable and have paved the way towards more extensive investigations and testing. 

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Posted by Joshua Colfer at 9:05 AM