The vision of the Brainerd Institute Heritage is to preserve and share the academic, artistic, and cultural contributions of Brainerd Institute. The site is currently home to Workshops in Open Fields, a program created by Dr. Vivian Ayers Allen to foster and promote preschool literacy. Fundraising efforts are focused on the restoration of the historic Kumler Hall,which will be used
to offer year-round educational and artistic opportunities.
History of Brainerd Institute
Brainerd Institute was formed as an elite educational institution for African Americans by the Presbyterian USA Church in 1866. The school continued to grow, offering all grades through high school. With its high academic standards, graduates went on to excel at colleges across the country, including Johnson C. Smith University, Benedict College, and Howard University. The school itself also became a junior college with a focus on teacher training. The last class graduated Brainerd in 1939.
"BRAINERD remains legendary for the success and impact of its students, their off-spring, camaraderie
and love of learning. They are the source of the epithet 'NERD'." ~ VIVIAN AYERS, CLASS OF 39