MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - On Tuesday, Christian Brothers University named Jack Shannon as its twenty-third president. He takes over July 1.
WMC Action News 5's Andrew Douglas sat down for a one-on-one with the new president about his goals and priorities going forward.
“The students are accomplished and talented and ambitious and driven. the faculty is just exceptional, and the overall community is a special one,” Shannon said about the reasons he will take over the helm at CBU. “We have exceptional alumni, we have remarkable programs and talented students and faculty, the world needs to know more about them."
He says the way to tell CBU’s story is through its programs like engineering.
"CBU is special in the fact that we have four major engineering disciplines right on our campus and we need to do more to tap into that resource,” Shannon said.
He also says other programs can have direct impact on Memphis and the Mid-South.
“Science and technology and math disciplines that I think we can fulfill, I also believe that our programs in nursing and allied health are our opportunities to support region’s economy given its strong assets in health care,” Shannon said.
Shannon takes over from John Smarelli, who is retiring after spending 10 years as president.
He is coming to Memphis from Montclair State University in New Jersey, where he held various leadership roles. Before that, Shannon worked at the University of Pennsylvania.
Shannon says the school founded in 1871 has a rich history and a great future ahead.
“Continue to build the relationships that we have in Memphis and beyond that’s part of what a Lasallian education is thinking outside of one’s self and giving back in service to others,” Shannon said.
A new president and a new era for the 75-acre Midtown Campus, leading its nearly 2,000 students into a new chapter in the Bluff City.
Shannon holds degrees from La Salle University in Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard.