Chris Peterson made a definite mark on Christian Brothers University as a student. The Religion & Philosophy major was active in the Honors Program and Student Government Association, and he founded and served as first president of the Social Justice Committee — through which he was one of the founders of the Community Peace Garden, as well as its primary planner and caretaker.

Chris was also an active volunteer at St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, a tutor with the Memphis Literacy Corps, and assisted local Hispanic families through the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. By the time he graduated in 2010, Chris was also a member of the very first class of CBU Lasallian Fellows — chosen because they “embody the values set forth by CBU’s founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle” and reflect those values “in their scholarship, leadership, and service.”

Obviously, Chris has not stopped reflecting those values — his life after CBU has continued to exemplify respect for all persons and concern for the poor and social justice. His professional life has been concerned with increasing access to food by creating a just food system. Through his work with Grow Memphis and the Food Advisory Council, then owning his own farm, and now as the farm manager at Alpha Omega Veterans Urban Farm, he increases awareness and access to quality produce and cultivates “collective action for an economically sustainable, socially equitable, and environmentally sound local food system.” Not only does the farm provide fresh food for the veterans served by Alpha Omega, but it also utilizes therapeutic gardening opportunities which improve the quality of life for all participants and is especially beneficial to veterans suffering from PTSD. Chris also recently joined the Board of Directors of Certified Naturally Grown, a farm assurance program that promotes sustainable agriculture through peer-review certification, grassroots networking, and advocacy.

Chris Peterson entered CBU to learn and left to serve, and he does it with humility and grace.