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CBU President


Deciding where you will embark on your college career is an exciting and challenging time for both students and parents. Our website is a great way to discover if CBU is the right place for you. I hope you'll take a couple of moments to watch this brief video and allow me to personally welcome you to CBU.

Do you have a question for me? I'd love to interact with you via email or Twitter! Welcome and I look forward to seeing you on campus! 


Dr. John Smarrelli Jr.

Follow Dr. Smarrelli on Twitter! 

Q & A with the President

What is the atmosphere on campus like? How does it feel?
While we are located in the middle of bustling Midtown Memphis, the CBU campus is a safe, close-knit, caring community of dedicated professionals and earnest students of many backgrounds and faiths. In a word, it feels like "home" — with meals like mom used to make, friends right down the hall and professors who are there for you. Don't take my word for it; visit campus and see for yourself.

What academic programs are offered?
To this question I respond, what would you like to study? CBU offers many academically rigorous undergraduate programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, the sciences and teacher education, including classes for adult learners and working professionals. Outstanding graduate programs in business, education, engineering management and Catholic studies are also available, as well as career-enhancing professional certificate programs.

Is financial aid available for me?
Yes! CBU understands the importance of an education that is a good value for students and their parents. I'm pleased to tell you that 96% of CBU students received financial aid of some kind, and there are many options for need-based, faith-based, minority and merit scholarships. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for more details.

What kinds of jobs do your graduates get?

I am proud to say that during Commencement, more than 80% of those crossing the stage already have jobs or placement in graduate schools like Yale, Vanderbilt and Purdue University. CBU students make a real difference in the world as business executives, teachers, politicians, engineers and health care professionals, just to name a few. They work at innovative, high-profile organizations such as Hewlett Packard, FedEx, Medtronic, Dow Chemical, Cummins Inc., International Paper, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Smith & Nephew, and the Army Corps of Engineers. 

Who is there if I need help? 

At CBU, the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual health and well-being of every student is taken very seriously. As a community that cares, not just about how you learn, but also how you grow and succeed, there are many resources available for those who need a little extra help, regardless of what kind of assistance you might need. 

What does Lasallian mean?

CBU traces its origins to Saint John Baptist de La Salle. He was a priest and educational innovator who began a new system of Christian Schools in which teachers assisted parents in the educational, ethical, and religious formation of their children. Being "Lasallian" means different things to different people, but here at CBU, it means an emphasis on faith, service, and community. Learn more about the Lasallian tradition.