MEMPHIS – The Christian Brothers University Board of Trustees today announced that Jack Shannon has been selected as the 23rd president of Christian Brothers University (CBU). Shannon is a distinguished higher education leader with many years of experience directing not only academic and student-centered initiatives but also public/private partnerships focused on economic development in some of the most economically-challenged communities in the country.
Shannon comes to CBU from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, where he led the Office of Strategic Alliances, Economic Development, and Civic Partnerships and previously served as the university’s vice president for advancement. Prior to his arrival at Montclair State, he served as the inaugural president and CEO of East Baltimore Development Inc., a groundbreaking initiative that successfully undertook the largest urban redevelopment initiative in Baltimore’s history through the integrated delivery of education, health, and human services programs; the construction of new mixed-income housing; the development of a leading-edge life sciences center; and the launch of a new K-8 community school.
He has also served as the associate vice president for economic development and chief of staff to the executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania where he was one of the principal architects and implementers of the university’s highly acclaimed “West Philadelphia Initiatives,” a comprehensive neighborhood redevelopment strategy that was awarded the 2003 Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence.
“Jack Shannon has the diverse skill set that is required to lead a Catholic university in today’s challenging environment for higher education," said Steve Dunavant, chairman of the CBU Board of Trustees. "He’s a proven leader who has successfully worked in complex organizational environments and understands the critical role that a university has in accessing opportunities for not only our students but the entire community. Jack is a problem-solver who embraces challenging issues, a mentor who cares about the development of others, and a person of integrity who understands both the traditions of the Christian Brothers and how to bring our values to bear in today’s world.”
Shannon will replace Dr. John Smarrelli Jr., who is retiring after 10 years as president.
“My wife, Denise, and I are absolutely thrilled to become members of the CBU and Memphis communities,” said Shannon. “During the time I recently spent on campus, I was welcomed by a remarkable community of faculty, staff, and alumni who strongly embrace CBU’s mission of preparing students for careers and lives informed by the Lasallian values of faith, service, and community. The future is a very bright one for CBU because of the strong and sustainable foundation for continued success that has been built by President Smarrelli, the Board of Trustees, and the Memphis community. CBU is well positioned to continue along a path of educational excellence and institutional growth.”
Shannon holds a BA degree in English from La Salle University in Philadelphia, where he currently serves on the executive committee of its board of trustees. He also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University and a JD degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Shannon will assume leadership of CBU on Monday, July 1.