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Christian Brothers College was founded in 1871 by members of the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools, an international Roman Catholic religious teaching congregation.
The first president, Brother Maurelian Sheel, came to Memphis from Pass Christian, Mississippi. He was joined by three other Brothers displaced by Great Chicago Fire. The new college on Adams Street was dedicated on Sunday, November 19, 1871. It opened its doors with four Christian Brothers and 87 students.
Brother Maurelian served as President multiple times, in 1871-1891, 1894-1899, and again in 1904-1909. During his time, Christian Brothers College served as a combined elementary school, high school, and college that granted diplomas, bachelor's, and master's degrees.
Because of his knowledge of the Yellow Fever (he had caught and recovered from it in Pass Christian in 1867), Brother Maurelian took action to close CBC during the 1878 outbreak in Memphis. He moved the Brothers to the outskirts of town to avoid exposure, and requested federal involvement in the search for the cause and prevention of the disease.
This image is from Christian Brothers University History Collection.
Brother Maurelian worked on the Catholic Education exhibit of the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. Work of CBC students was on display. (CBU's copy of this book is in the Brother I. Leo O'Donnell Archives.)
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