Our History

Nearly 140 years of educating girls

In 1884, when it was commonly thought that intellectual activity “took the bloom from ladies,” Samuel A. Brearley, Jr. opened a school in a brownstone in Midtown Manhattan to provide young women with an education comparable to that available to their brothers. Within two years, the School had 120 students and 20 faculty members. An early graduate later wrote that this “first intellectual experience had a novelty and excitement that it is almost impossible for a person born in the twentieth century to understand.” Brearley has flourished and evolved since; well into the twenty-first century, situated in two schoolhouses on the Upper East Side, it has more than 760 students and more than 250 faculty and staff.