About Brainerd
Ezra Brainerd
Brainerd Commons takes its name from Ezra Brainerd, who became Middlebury College's president in 1885. Brainerd was born in St. Albans, Vermont, and attended Middlebury College as a student, graduating with the class of 1864. After graduating from theological school, Brainerd returned to Middlebury where he taught in virtually every department—English and rhetoric, physics and mathematics—and distinguished himself as a botanist, studying primarily violets and blackberries.

Under his leadership the college came from near extinction to modest prosperity. Women were admitted and began graduating during his tenure. Starr Library was built during his presidency, as was Warner Hall. On the 50th anniversary of his graduation, Mead Chapel was started, with funds solicited from Brainerd's classmate John A. Mead.

Former Faculty Heads of Brainerd are Robert Osborne, Kirsten Hoving,
Paul and Jennifer Nelson, Karl Lindholm, and Robert and Marita Schine.

Brainerd's Mascot
Ezra the Owl

Brainerd's mascot is the owl. Owls are nocturnal, intelligent, and feast, terrorize or perch on frogs (Atwater), pigs (Cook), rhinos (Ross), and squirrels (Wonnacott)!

The color for Brainerd Commons is Purple.


Brainerd's Traditions


Brainerd has monthly dinners in the Commons House where all Brainerd students are invited for good food, scintilating conversation, and Brainerd student performances.  We have a weekly Friday Kaffee Klatsch where our students can relax and enjoy one anothers' company while nibbling on homemade desserts and sipping  coffee or tea in the Brainerd office. Snacks in the Stew 2 Lounge on Sunday and Wednesday nights have become weekly 'must attend' events in Stewart Hall, and every Spring we have a huge themed dance party. 

Brainerd has also started the tradition of having Peer Writing Tutors from CTLR available in the Brainerd Conference Room in Stewart Hall on Sunday and Thursday nights during the Fall and Spring semesters for any Brainerd student who wants a little help with a writing assignment.