Former students outside Dunbar School in Salina, KS. Photo Courtesy Jennifer Gordon.

Opened in 1822, Dunbar School in Salina, KS, served as a base for the surrounding Black community in an area most often referred to as the bottoms.   

The school, named after African-American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, served as the primary educator of thousands of Salina’s Black children until the Brown v. Topeka BOE lawsuit forced the closure of the school in 1955.  

July 21-23, the Dunbar School Alumni Association, Inc., will host the 11th Dunbar School

Reunion from their hotel base, the Homewood Suites in Salina.  

This year’s reunion theme will be “Dunbar School: Evoke the Legacy – Let It Shine.”  The two-day reunion includes a memorial service for deceased Dunbar School alumni on Friday and an evening banquet on Saturday. 

The keynote speaker for the banquet will be Dr. Karnia Yager, assistant professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University – Long Island, NY. Dr. Yager is the granddaughter of the alumni association’s oldest alumna, Dr. Virginia Belle Hill.

For more info about the 11th Dunbar School Reunion, visit or contact Dr. Jennifer Gordon at