Christian Brothers College, then located on Adams Avenue, opened its doors on November 20, 1871 with four Christian Brothers and 87 students. It awarded the first college degree in the city of Memphis in 1875.
One hundred and fifty years later, Christian Brothers University has grown to a student population of more than 1,800 and expanded its degree offerings. Today, CBU offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 60 academic majors and concentrations in the arts, business, education, engineering, and sciences, as well as master’s degrees in business, computer systems, data science, education, engineering management, and physician assistant studies. CBU continues to promote teaching as ministry and to provide challenging student-centered learning and personal growth.
In 2021 and 2022, 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. We have many exciting events planned through the 2022 Commencement ceremony and hope you will join us.
The CBU Red Book: Telling the Lasallian Story in Memphis
We have published The Red Book, to introduce the twin stories of the founder of the Christian Brothers, St. John Baptist de La Salle, and of our own Lasallian institution.
150 for 150: Honoring our Alumni
Throughout our year of celebration, we are honoring 150 alumni and CBU community members who have served with humility and grace as true examples of our Lasallian values. Know someone who should be honored? Nominate them today!
Celebrating “Together and By Association”
Although the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to negatively impact how we are able to come together as a Lasallian community, we are committed to providing opportunities to safely engage with each other throughout our celebratory year.
Sesquicentennial Commemorative Mass
One hundred and fifty years to the day that the Christian Brothers held their first class in Memphis, the community is invited to join us and the Most Reverend David Talley, Bishop of Memphis, at St. Peter Catholic Church at 190 Adams Avenue on November 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm as we reflect upon and give thanks for our educational ministry in this city. If you are interested in attending the Sesquicentennial Mass in person, please contact us at RSVP@cbu.edu. It will also be livestreamed — more information at this link.
Alumni Weekend and the Bell Tower Gala
Given the surge of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and the Mid-South region and relying upon guidance provided by public health professionals, Christian Brothers University has decided to postpone the scheduled Alumni Weekend and Bell Tower Gala events previously slated to take place in early October 2021. These events have now been rescheduled for the weekend of April 8-10, 2022 and will feature a full schedule of activities to help us remember our past and look ahead to our future.
Rather than being one of the first events of our milestone celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Christian Brothers’ arrival in Memphis, this weekend and its premier event — the Bell Tower Scholarship Dinner – will now be one of our culminating events of this special time. Please mark your calendars now and look for more information coming soon.
150 Years of Serving Memphis
As part of September of Service, we will kick off a year-long initiative for CBU community participants to achieve 150 hours of community service in honor of our 150th birthday.
We will be updating details here as we join “Together and By Association” to commemorate 150 Years of Lasallian Education. And as we know CBU’s story is your story too, we will soon be launching an interactive site to provide access our newly released digital archives and share your stories of your days at CBU and how the high quality Lasallian education you received here has impacted you beyond your days on campus.
You are each a part of what we celebrate with our sesquicentennial anniversary: a great history, the blessings of this moment, and the assurance of a bright future. We can’t wait to honor our first 150 years and prepare for our next 150 years!