The Bell Tower Gala
SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 • PEABODY HOTEL
This wonderful night will be held at the historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. We will start with a cocktail hour at 6:00pm followed by dinner at 7:00pm and recognition of the honorees for this year’s Bell Tower Gala. You don’t want to miss this night filled with great people, good food, and live music. Reserve your spot to honor and support Christian Brothers University. Purchase your tickets before September 2nd for Early Bird pricing! We can’t wait to see you there.
A Celebration of the Christian Brothers
CBU is celebrating its Sesquicentennial anniversary, and we invite all members of our community to join us as we honor our history, celebrate our successes, and envision and embrace our future. As we honor 150 Years of Lasallian Education, we will celebrate the Brothers of the Christian Schools, who founded our University and whose guiding spirit and core principles have defined our mission and touched the lives of every alumnus and alumna, every faculty and staff member, and countless others in the worldwide Lasallian community over the past century and a half.
The Christian Brothers at CBU pass on a tradition handed down from Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the international order and the patron saint of teachers in the Roman Catholic Church. They live in community and support one another and their associates in fulfilling the Church’s apostolic mission of service through education. While teaching has always been their central activity, the Brothers have also served CBU over the years as administrators (including the first 21 presidents), staff, counselors, and advisors.
Their mission continues to inspire the University’s person-centered educational philosophy, its insistence on academic excellence and exemplary teaching, and its emphasis on faith, service, and community. They have shaped CBU’s identity and its welcome of students, faculty, and staff of all faiths and backgrounds.
To quote Brother Terence McLaughlin, past president and current member of the Brothers Community at CBU, from his most recent book, The Christian Brothers in Memphis: “Yes, there have been changes through the years in the lives of the Brothers and in each of our schools, and in the lives of our students, changes in family structures, and changes in the Christian Brother Order itself. Still, the Brothers remain the true Catholic/Christian educators opening our doors for the school-ready students, and with help from Memphis leaders, open our doors wider to aid the economically poor and those who seek a better life in the city.”
The Brothers’ history with the University continues to touch the lives of students, colleagues, and alumni alike. It is this collective contribution from everyone that keeps De La Salle’s spirit of faith and zeal alive. And it is one that promises to reach far into the future.
Introducing the McLaughlin Social Justice Institute
This summer, the McLaughlin Social Justice Institute of Lasallian Practice at CBU is holding its first annual sessions for college and high school students from across the United States, offering them an exciting, life-changing opportunity to immerse themselves in learning about some of the most critical issues of our day-such as generational poverty and homelessness, food scarcity, challenges faced by immigrants, and inequity in education and healthcare. These intensive two-week programs blend classroom instruction, visits from leading experts in law and medicine, and trips throughout the Memphis community, all designed to teach students how their own social identities impact their engagement with others.
The Institute is named in honor of Brother Terence McLaughlin, the former president of CBU (1962-64) who also served as a teacher, athletic director, coach, and administrator in other Lasallian schools in the U.S. and England for more than 55 years before returning to Memphis for his retirement in 2000. During his tenure as president of Christian Brothers College in 1963, Brother Terence made history by accepting the application of Jesse Turner Jr. to the high school division (now CBHS) and making ii the first racially integrated high school in the city. As Brother Terence approaches his 100th birthday in December, we celebrate his lifelong dedication to quality education for all, his tireless advocacy for social justice and inclusion, and his call to see the world through eyes of faith.
Distinguished Alumnus Award
As part of the Gala’s formal festivities, we will also honor this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Mr. Stephen L. Waechter (’72). Steve Waechter attended a Lasallian high school in Newport, KY and joined the Christian Brothers for two years after graduation. He come to CBU in 1968, majored in History, and was selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. After he graduated in 1972 with his BA, he headed off to Xavier University, where he earned his MBA in Finance in 1974. He began his professional career with General Electric and distinguished himself over the years as a leader in finance, gaining extensive experience in government contracting with CFO positions at various information technology companies, and retired as Vice President and CFO of ARINC in 2014. He is currently Chairman of the Board of CoreFirst, a not-for-profit healthcare company, and also serves on several corporate boards. Steve actively served on the CBU Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2021.
He and his wife Debbie hove generously supported their own parish, CBU, and other Lasallian schools, not only financially but through extraordinary gifts of time and talent, thereby living well our core values of faith, service, and community. Over the last few years, they have supported a Lasallian school in Nigeria, where their financial contributions aided in building a new school. He and his family have sponsored international students attending the University of Maryland, George Washington University, La Salle University, Boston University, and have also financially supported several international students at CBU. Steve and Debbie have generously supported CBU both financially and through extraordinary gifts of time and talent.