Christian Brothers University is the oldest collegiate degree-granting institution in the city of Memphis. The university is run by the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order founded by St. John Baptist de la Salle, the patron saint of teachers. It is located in Midtown Memphis near the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
Christian Brothers College was founded November 19, 1871, by members of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. The Brothers came to Memphis at the request of the people and clergy of the city, after more than a decade of efforts to persuade the Brothers to open a college there.
Christian Brothers University traces its origins to the priest and educational innovator, St. John Baptist de la Salle. De la Salle began a system of Christian schools in which teachers assist parents in the educational, ethical, and religious formation of their children. To continue his spiritual and pedagogical vision, de la Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, known today as the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
Today, the spirit and tradition of the Lasallian community thrives in 81 countries and in more than 1,000 educational institutions. Over 4,000 De La Salle Christian Brothers, along with 56,000 Lasallian lay colleagues (such as Lasallian Volunteers), serve over 750,000 students and their families worldwide. In the United States, there are over 100 Lasallian educational institutions.
Christian Brothers College officially became Christian Brothers University in June 1990.
After more than a decade of efforts to persuade the Brothers to open a college in Memphis, Christian Brothers College was founded in 1871.
Brother Maurelian was appointed the first president. His two terms as president totalled 1 years. During his presidency, the Brothers purchased the 612 Adams Street building, which housed the college until 1940 when the college moved to its present location at Central Avenue and East Parkway South.
Functioning as a combined elementary school, high school (now Christian Brothers High School), and college, Christian Brothers College granted high school diplomas as well as Bachelor's and Master's Degrees until 1915, when the college division was suspended. Elementary classes were dropped in 1922, and the institution operated as only a high school for 18 years. Reopened in 1940 as a junior college, the college began granting Associate's Degrees in 1942.
Christian Brothers awarded the first post-secondary degree in the city in 1875. LeMoyne College (one of the two constituent parts of present-day LeMoyne-Owen College) also claims a founding year of 1871, but it was an elementary and secondary school at the time. The city's largest university, The University of Memphis, was not founded until 1912. Although Rhodes College claims a founding date of 1848, it did not actually move to Memphis until 1925, some 54 years after the founding of Christian Brothers, making it the youngest of the major colleges in Memphis. Rhodes' original 1848 campus became Austin Peay State University, and Rhodes became "Southwestern at Memphis."
Christian Brothers University traces its origins to priest and educational innovator, St. John Baptist de la Salle. De la Salle began a system of Christian schools in which teachers assist parents in the educational, ethical, and religious formation of their children. To continue his spiritual and pedagogical vision, de la Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, known today as the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
Today, the spirit and tradition of the Lasallian community thrives in 81 countries and in more than 1,000 educational institutions. Over 4,000 De La Salle Christian Brothers, along with 56,000 Lasallian lay colleagues, serve over 750,000 students and their families worldwide. In the United States, there are over 100 Lasallian educational institutions.
The university currently has a lay interim president following the fatal car accident of former president Brother Vincent Malham in 2008.
In 1953, the decision was made to expand the community college into a four-year institution to better serve the needs of the community. The four-year curriculum began with degrees in Business Administration and Electrical Engineering, with the first graduates in recent times receiving their degrees in 1955.
The curriculum was soon expanded to meet the needs for new programs in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry. The following degree programs were later added: Biology, Civil Engineering, Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemical Engineering, History, Psychology, Natural Science, Engineering Physics, Computer Science, and Religion and Philosophy. Teacher preparation programs in secondary education were added in 1969. An accelerated evening program offering a degree in Business Administration was added in 1978 to meet the needs of the adult student, and the Applied Psychology degree was added in 1999. In Fall 2007, CBU introduced its Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Programs at the graduate level were reinstated in 1987 with the Master's program in Telecommunication and Information Systems. The Master of Business Administration and the Master in Engineering Management were added in 1989. A Master of Education was added in 1997, and the Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Science in Educational Leadership were offered beginning in 2001. The Master of Arts in Executive Leadership was added in 2005.
When another Catholic college in Memphis (the all-female Siena College) closed, Christian Brothers University became coeducational in 1970. Currently, women comprise approximately 55% of the student body.
Christian Brothers College officially became Christian Brothers University in June 1990.
As a member of the Lasallian Consortium, i.e. the seven Lasallian universities in the United States, CBU offers study abroad semesters in Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain. Additionally, CBU offers study abroad courses during spring and fall vacations. Upcoming courses include travel in England, France, Italy, Mexico, and Uganda. Medical missions to Haiti are available but have been postponed for the present. Study abroad is optional for students but is required for completion of the global studies minor.
CBU has one of the most diverse student bodies in the South. 51% of students are White-American (non-Hispanic), 33% are African-American (non-Hispanic), 5% are Asian-American or Pacific Islander-American, 2% are Hispanic-American, and 2% are international students. 6% of students have an unknown ethnicity. Students hail from more than 28 states and 14 countries.
Although CBU is a Catholic university, only 23% of students are Catholic. Religious observances are not required, and 32 different faiths are represented in the student body.
Notably, 99% of Christian Brothers University undergraduates receive financial aid, broken down as institutional grants (98%), state/local grants (68%), federal grants (29%), and student loans (58%).
There are 110 full-time faculty members. All of them hold at least master's degrees, and 89% hold doctorates or terminal degrees. No courses are taught by teaching assistants. The student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1. School of Sciences graduating classes from 2002 to 2006 boasted a 91% acceptance rate for medical school, and an 87% acceptance for pharmacy school.
Christian Brothers University is located on a 75-acre (300,000 m2) wooded campus in the heart of Midtown, Memphis, four miles (6 km) east of Downtown.
Kenrick Hall is the oldest building on campus, constructed in 1939 as the original Christian Brothers High School.
The university's architecture follows the Georgian style popular at the time of the campus' relocation to East Parkway. Arch-covered walkways traverse the main campus, allowing students and faculty to get to most buildings shielded from the weather. The campus is enclosed by an iron fence with brick accents with entrances on East Parkway South, Central Avenue, and Avery Avenue.
Canale Arena, originally called De La Salle Gymnasium, was completed in 1950. At that time, it was the largest indoor arena in the city of Memphis.
The arena was fully renovated in 2004 and has a capacity of 1,000.
CBU is a Division II team and a member of the Gulf South Conference. Buccaneer teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, and soccer. Lady Buccaneer teams include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball.
The Lady Buccaneers and Buccaneers have won multiple athletic competitions, including the 2002 Division II women's soccer championship and the 2008 GSC men's basketball championship. The Men's Soccer Team has won back to back Conference titles Under Coach Clint Browne during the 2011, 2012 Seasons. Also Making it into the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
21% of male students and 24% of female students are members of fraternities and sororities
Campus Greek councils include the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Council (NPC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
Chapters of a number of honor societies exist at CBU to recognize excellence in academia and leadership. Active honor societies and their specialties include: Alpha Chi (general academic), Beta Beta Beta (biology), the Order of Omega (fraternity and sorority members), Phi Alpha Theta (history), Psi Chi (psychology), Sigma Tau Delta (English), Alpha Psi Omega (theatre), and Tau Beta Pi (engineering).
Professional organizations include: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Electrical Engineers, Society of Physics Students, and the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society.
Civil engineering students also compete in the annual Student Steel Bridge Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. Scale bridges are constructed; judging is based on speed of construction, strength and durability of the bridge, and more.
Civil engineering students construct concrete canoes to compete at annual Deep South regional conferences for student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers. These canoes must be able to float and support the weight of several students as they will be raced.
Electrical and computer engineering students annually participate in a robotics Competition organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The 2008 competition was held in Huntsville, Alabama.
Mechanical engineering students gear up against competitors from schools across the country to build and race vehicles that can travel over simulated lunar terrain. The competition is held annually at the United States Space & Rocket Center.
Students traditionally "paint The Rock". Painting The Rock is spray painting an on-campus boulder, usually to show off one's Greek letters and symbols.
Painting The Rock has its own rules of etiquette. The Rock can only be painted between sunset and sunrise. Any group currently next to The Rock is guarding it, and it cannot be taken by another group at that time (although the occasional fight has happened in the past). The Rock can be painted several times in one night; however, it is a gentlemanly tradition among the fraternities not to paint over a sorority Rock for at least two to three days.
The term taking The Rock refers to adding a completely new coat of paint whereas tagging is just spray painting marks on top of someone else's paint, typically to add the names of the painters or insults to the current holder of The Rock.
Older Rock traditions (until the 1970s) include paint fights between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen the first few days of school, but these have been discontinued.