For thirty-two years, Richard and Helen Brown helped shape career-focused education. Harboring a deep interest in radio and broadcast, in 1946 the couple established the American Institute of the Air to train students interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting.
Throughout the years, the Brown's maintained a personal relationship and genuine regard for the academic success of each student. They touched many lives over the years, often personally helping students find a job or a place to live. Of equal importance was the well-being of their staff. The couple maintained a friendly, open-door policy with a family-oriented business model.
The Browns established an institution with a legacy of excellence and professionalism that continues to this day. Ethics and integrity are still cornerstones of the curriculum. With this strong foundation, thousands of successful broadcasting careers have been launched at Brown. Twenty-three former students and teachers are now members of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Richard and Helen officially retired in 1978 but remained actively involved with the college until 1982. The couple passed away in 1994 and was inducted into the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2004.
Today, the school is still known for the couple that founded it. It has gone through two name changes. It became Brown Institute in 1954 when courses in electronics, computer programming and television production were added. It was renamed Brown College in 2001.