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Christian Brothers High School (Memphis, Tennessee) facts for kids

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Christian Brothers High School
Virtus et Scientia (Latin)
Character and Knowledge
5900 Walnut Grove Road
Memphis, Tennessee, 38120
United States
Coordinates 35°07′51″N 89°51′51″W / 35.130880°N 89.864290°W / 35.130880; -89.864290
School type Private Roman Catholic Non-profit All-boys College Preparatory educational institution
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1871; 152 years ago (1871)
Grades 9–12
Gender Boys
Enrollment 821  (2020)
Campus m
Campus size 27 acres (110,000 m2)
Color(s)  Purple  and  Gold 
Athletics conference AAA West TSSAA
Nickname Purple Wave
Rival Memphis University School
Accreditation(s) SACS
Publication Purple & Gold
Newspaper The Maurelian
Yearbook Chronicle
Affiliation Christian Brothers University

Christian Brothers High School (CBHS) is located in Memphis, Tennessee, at 5900 Walnut Grove Road. It is a Catholic, all-male college preparatory school which has a Lasallian tradition.



The school was founded as Christian Brothers College on November 19, 1871, by members of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Roman Catholic religious teaching congregation. 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 in Memphis. Christian Brothers High School remains the oldest all-boys educational institution in the city of Memphis.

Brother Maurelian was appointed the first president. During his presidency, which lasted 33 years, the Brothers purchased the 612 Adams Street building, which housed the college until 1940 when the school moved to its present location at Central Avenue and East Parkway South. Functioning as a combined elementary school, high school, and college, Christian Brothers College granted high school diplomas, 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. In 1940, the college opened again as a junior college and began granting Associate's Degrees in 1942. Several years later in 1965 the high school left the college campus and moved to a new campus located at 5900 Walnut Grove Rd. in East Memphis. At that point it became known as Christian Brothers High School. The college is now known as Christian Brothers University, and is still on East Parkway.

The Christian Brothers Band is the oldest high school band in America, being continuous since its founding in 1872.

Lasallian tradition

Christian Brothers University traces its origins to priest and educational innovator, St. John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of teachers.

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. The Lasallian community is now 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 900,000 students and their families worldwide.


CBHS is located on a 50-acre (200,000 m2) campus in East Memphis, sixteen miles east of Downtown. The campus encompasses the main school building, gym, STEMM building, football & practice field, 2,300 gallon aquarium, baseball field and club house, soccer, and a practice field, as well as a chapel and housing for the Brothers who work at the school.


The Band is "The Oldest High School Band in America" founded in 1872 and consists of a concert band and pep band. This group has performed at the Midwest Clinic, Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln Memorial as well as receiving superior ratings at concert festivals from Hawaii to Washington D.C. The band has performed for two US presidents. The Jazz Band, "Walnut Groove," performs on and off campus. A Historic Brass Band performs in replica civil war era uniforms and marches in parades along with performing in civic celebrations and dedications in the city.

Notable alumni

  • Pete Carney – musician
  • Ray Crone – Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Zach Curlin – basketball and football coach for the University of Memphis
  • Dominic Dierkes – actor, comedian, writer
  • Logan Forsythe – MLB second baseman
  • Paul Hofer – NFL running back
  • Phil Irwin – Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Mike Jankowski – skiing and snowboarding coach
  • Bill Justis – recording artist, music producer and film composer
  • Chuck Lanza – NFL player
  • Nick Marable – freestyle wrestler, represented Team USA at the 2014 World Wrestling Championships
  • Tim McCarver – Major League Baseball player and Ford C. Frick Award winner for New York Mets and Fox Sports
  • Shaun Micheel – professional golfer
  • Cary Middlecoff – dentist and professional golfer
  • Anthony Miller – NFL wide receiver
  • Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell – musician
  • Richard Mulrooney – professional soccer player
  • John J. Shea, Jr. – ear surgeon
  • Jesse Winchester – musician, songwriter
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