Christian Brothers University (CBU) announces a series of events in January to observe the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Wednesday, January 15, the University will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest at 6:30 p.m. in Spain Auditorium (located in Buckman Hall). Featuring 5th and 6th graders from various Jubilee Schools in the Catholic Diocese, students will be judged on creativity, content and how well the speech reflects their chosen theme. Each student will receive an award with special recognition for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

Rev. J. Lawrence Turner

CBU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Service will be conducted on Thursday, January 16, at 1:00 p.m. in Spain Auditorium. The award-winning speech from the previous evening Oratorical Contest will be presented, as will special musical selections from CBU’s newly formed “Divine Voices Gospel Choir.” The speaker for the service will Reverend J. Lawrence Turner, Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, who will address the theme of “Called to Serve.”

Rev. Turner has served at Mississippi Boulevard Church since January 13, 2013.  For seven years prior to coming to Mississippi Boulevard, his pastoral assignment was the Community Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

A native of Nashville, Rev. Turner is a 2003 magna cum laude graduate of Fisk University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy.  He was a 2001 United Negro College Fund/Andrew Mellon Undergraduate Fellow and a 2002 Fellow of the Fund for Theological Education.  He received his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School and was awarded the prestigious H.H. Tweedy Prize for exceptional promise for pastoral leadership. Currently, Turner is pursuing the Doctor of Ministry degree in Transformative Leadership at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY.

Understanding the need for excellence in leadership in today’s society, Rev. Turner has demonstrated his gifts and talents in various positions including President of the Yale Divinity School Student Council; Vice President of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention; Secretary for the Board of Directors of the National Action Network; and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority for New Haven.

CBU will conclude its observances on Thursday, January 30, at 1:00 p.m. in Spain Auditorium with the “Let’s Talk About Race Panel Discussion.” Talking about racial and ethnic diversity can be a divisive conversation, but it doesn’t have to be. A diverse panel of CBU students, led by facilitator Dr. Kelly James, Assistant Professor of Behavior Sciences, will talk about their lives and we will share insights and dispel some myths.

All events are free and open to the public.

Posted in Events, Press Releases, Student Life

Christian Brothers University is proud to be the host for the 4th annual Mid-South Farm to Table Conference. Established in 2011, the conference is designed to provide a forum for farmers, consumers, entrepreneurs and other local food stakeholders to discuss ideas for developing the local food system of Memphis and the Mid-South.  Our vision is one of a thriving local food system that will strengthen farmer livelihoods by connecting more farmers to local consumers; will improve access to fresh produce and increase healthy food consumption; and will stimulate economic development and job creation in the region.

This year we welcome a number of farmers, policy advocates, and scholars from across the region to discuss topics including, but not limited to, urban homesteading, mushroom cultivation, faith-based food justice initiatives, and the role universities can play in building sustainable local food systems. This year’s keynote speakers are Nat Turner, founder of Our School at Blair Grocery in New Orleans; and Miles McMath, Director of Culinary Operations at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Nat Turner was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota and graduated from Carleton College. After working on his PhD in the Politics of Representation for seven years at Emory University he relocated to New York City and taught at the Beacon School for seven years. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the school organized countless reconstruction brigades to New Orleans. In 2008, Turner left New York City to found Our School at Blair Grocery in the Lower Ninth Ward with the mission of creating a resource rich safe space for youth empowerment and sustainable community development. This entails teaching young people how to grow enough food to create food security for the Lower Ninth Ward, sell food to the restaurants in the French Quarter to help finance the project and its expansion and engage youth and our adult neighbors in conversations about why this work is important to the future development of the neighborhood.

Chef Miles McMath has been the owner of three successful restaurants, and has recorded over 100 cooking segments for local television show Mid South Living, where he appeared weekly for four years. He also appeared on the Food Network’s Simon Super Chefs Live and is a five-time Gold Medal winner in National American Culinary Federation (ACF) competitions.

Today, Miles maintains the garden at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he is Director of Culinary Operations. “St. Jude has given me the opportunity to incorporate all of my experiences into one for the benefit of the patients, families and employees at St. Jude,” he says. “We have a garden that produces everything from mushrooms, lettuce and asparagus, as well as compost from our kitchen and worm beds.”

FEBRUARY 4, 2014
8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Price includes breakfast, lunch, and evening reception.

Visit to purchase tickets.

Students can contact Sean MacInnes ( for a special rate.

Posted in Events, Press Releases, Sustainability

The Christian Brothers University (CBU) Deckhands have been awarded the NCAA Division II 2013 Award of Excellence for the Gulf South Conference.

The CBU Deckhands are a faculty/staff dance team that provides entertainment at CBU athletic events. Because the University does not have cheerleaders, a student dance squad, or a band, the faculty and staff have stepped in to enhance the game environment by increasing school spirit and encouraging game attendance. The CBU Deckhands was formed in September 2013 as part of the “It’s a Great Day at CBU” initiative. The mission of “It’s a Great Day” is to create a vibrant university culture that results in the satisfaction, commitment, pride, and success of all community members. The Deckhands contribute to the mission by dancing, slingshotting CBU swag, and providing fun, family friendly game entertainment.

The NCAA Award of Excellence is granted to one school in each Division II conference in recognition of an activity or event that exemplifies excellence in any of the areas covered by the Division II six attributes (learning, balance, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, passion, and service). The awards can recognize many different categories, including community engagement, game environment, student-athlete leadership development, and educational programming.

The award comes with a $500 prize, and the Deckhands are now in competition for National Division II Award of Excellence, which will announced at the NCAA National Convention in San Diego on January 18, 2014.

Posted in Advancement, Athletics, Faculty & Staff

CBU congratulates the 312 undergraduate students named to the Fall 2013 Dean’s List.

Students awarded Dean’s List honors have earned a minimum grade point average of no lower than 3.4 for the semester with the completion of at least 12 credit hours.

Superior scholarship is recognized at the close of each semester by the publication of the Dean’s List.

A full list of honored students for the Fall 2013 semester can be found at this link. »»

Posted in Uncategorized

Alexis Gillis

LEXINGTON, Ky.-The American Volleyball Coaches Association Named Christian Brothers University sophomore outside hitter Alexis Gillis (Corpus Christi, Texas, Carroll HS) to its Honorable Mention All-American team announced Wednesday, the third straight season for CBU to place a player on the team.Gillis averaged 3.73 kills and 2.89 digs per set, hitting .176 for the season as she collected 4.20 points per set. Also first-team All-GSC and first-team AVCA All-South Region, she led the GSC and finished 35th in the nation in kills per set and led the GSC and finished 45th in the nation in points per set. She also averaged 0.29 aces per set, helping the Lady Bucs lead the GSC as a team in service aces. The Lady Bucs went 15-19 and finished fourth in the GSC, reaching the GSC semifinals.

Gillis follows in the footsteps of Kelsey Miles, an honorable mention All-American in 2011, and Kristina Headrick, an honorable mention All-American in 2012.

Posted in Athletics, Uncategorized

The CBU Office of Advancement and the Visual and Performing Arts Department will hold open auditions for A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters on January 27 at 7:00 p.m. in Kenrick 200.

Auditions are open to everyone, but CBU alumni who fell in love during their time on campus are especially encouraged to audition. Experience is not necessary and no memorization is required as actors will be reading from the script.

There are roles for six males and six females. There will be three rehearsals on February 11, 12, and 13 culminating with a single special Valentine’s reading (with dinner) on February 14 in Sabbatini Lounge.

Love Letters is the story of Andrew Ladd III  and Melissa Gardner’s complex relationship as told through the reading of a lifetime of correspondence between the two — from childhood birthday invitations and thank you notes to pledges of adolescent infatuation, through the trials and tribulations of marriage, professional aspirations, parenthood, addiction, and ultimately to their love affair.

To schedule an audition appointment, please contact the director, Matthew Hamner, at or (901) 321-3026.

Posted in Academics, Advancement, Alumni, Events, School of Arts

Brinsley Cooper (left) and Alexis Gillis (right) were named to the AVCA All-Region Team. Cooper was Freshman of the Year, and Gillis was First Team All-Region.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - NCAA South Region volleyball coaches voted Christian Brothers University middle blocker Brinsley Cooper (Rossville, Ind., Rossville HS) as the American Volleyball Coaches Association South Region Freshman of the Year, and they voted Alexis Gillis (Corpus Christi, Texas, Carroll HS) as an AVCA First Team All-Region selection.

Cooper is the Lady Bucs’ second straight South Region Freshman of the Year. Also Second Team All-GSC and the GSC Freshman of the Year, Cooper averaged 2.49 kills per set and hit .338 as she led a young Lady Bucs team to a 15-19 record, fourth place in the GSC and the GSC semifinals. She led the GSC and ranked 43rd in the nation in hitting percentage.

Gillis, a sophomore outside hitter, averaged 3.73 kills and 2.89 digs per set, hitting .176 with 4.20 points per set. She led the GSC and was 35th in the nation in kills per set, and she led the GSC and finished 45th in the nation in points per set. She also averaged 0.29 aces per set, helping the Lady Bucs lead the GSC as a team in service aces.

Gillis’ selection marks the third straight year for the Lady Bucs to be represented on the AVCA All-Region First Team. Kelsey Miles was a First Team selection in 2011 and an honorable mention pick in 2012. Kristina Headrick was the Freshman of the Year in 2012, also earning a spot on the First Team.


Posted in Athletics, Student Life

Want a chance to win $10,000???

During each home basketball game of the season, there will be a basketball contest at half-time for both the women’s and men’s game from the list of students who have registered for the $10,000 SHOT contest. Possible half-time contests will include Half-court Shot, Knock Out Contest, Free Throws in 30 or 60 seconds (match up), Shot Sequence, and other fun games that we will think of! The prize for each contest will be one $50 gift Card to the CBU Bookstore.  This contest is sponsored by Follet.

So, how do you win the $10,000? 

Attend at least four (4) men’s and four (4) women’s home games prior to Homecoming. (There are a total of nine men’s games and nine women’s games, totaling 18 games. Students who attend more than the required eight games will be given an extra entry for each game over the minimum attendance requirement.) Check in for each game with a “SHOT” representative to have your name checked off. This data will be collected using the IPad app “Zkipster” for events. By checking in, you’re entered into a drawing for the “SHOT.”  The “SHOT” is a 4-shot sequence (consisting of a  layup/bank shot, free throw, 3-pointer, and a half-court shot) made in succession within 23 seconds.

The date of the “SHOT” is February 1.  A random drawing will take place of the students that met the requirements above. One student’s name will be selected from the random drawing. If the selected student can successfully complete the “SHOT” Sequence, he or she will be awarded a cash prize of $10,000!

All students are eligible – full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, APS. Entries will be accepted through the January 30 games against Alabama-Huntsville. The “SHOT” is sponsored by Aramark.


Posted in Athletics, Student Life Tagged

In response to the recent devastation in the Philippines and the related Lasallian ministries spread throughout the region, CBU is launching “Change for thePhilippines.”   With just a few coins each day, we hope to make a difference much bigger than ourselves during the next week.  We urge all members of the CBU Community to take part in this “Change for the Philippines” competition since some of our students, faculty, staff, and Brothers have family members directly affected by this tragedy.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You as an individual or organization/group get together and raise money.  How you do that is up to you!  You can go “canning,” you can initiate a penny war, you can create a “give thanks” wall where donors write what they’re thankful for on a leaf.
  2. During the annual Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday, November 20, we will be praying for and mentioning our brothers and sisters in the Philippines.  Br. Ricky Layong, a Brother in the Master of Arts in Teaching program, will reflect on his time in his home country.
  3. If you—or the organization you represent—has some money collected, the totals will be included on the large thermometer in the Café.
  4. We will then have two more days to collect funds for the Philippines.
  5. On Friday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m. in Alfonso, we will have the final collection for our week of work.
  6. The organization or individual that donates the most money will be announced at the BSA talent show on November 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the University Theater and will win a $100.00 gift card to Central BBQ.
Our goal? We want to raise $10,000. Come on, CBU. We can do it.
Good luck and start saving that change to MAKE A CHANGE FOR THE PHILIPPINES.
Posted in Uncategorized

Dr. and Mrs. John Smarrelli Jr., the Brothers of the Lambert Hall Community, and the Student Government Association invite the entire CBU community  to the annual Christmas Celebration and Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 5 in Buckman Quad and Alfonso Dining Hall.

Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m., with the Tree Lighting at 6:00 p.m. Other Christmas treats in store include photos with Santa, a special performance by the Angel Tree and Blessing Bags to benefit families in need this holiday season.  and Holiday Music courtesy of DJ John Dawson. There will also be an Angel Tree and Blessing Bags to benefit families in need this holiday season.

RSVP to the Santa Hotline at 321-3082 or

Posted in Uncategorized