|Part of the reason that the Cassedys founded
National Park Seminary was to give themselves a chance to put into practice a
particular educational philosophy that they had come to from their experiences at the
Lasell and Norfolk schools. They wanted a secluded suburban environment where
their students could be surrounded by natural and man-made beauty without
distractions. They felt it important to develop young ladies for a role in
society in which they would be support players only. They said that a woman's
role in society was "to throw herself heartily into the pursuits of others rather
than to have pursuits of her own." Therefore, NPS was intended to be a
substitute for college in which social development was at least as important as
intellectual training. In fact, the latter was so deemphasized that "examinations have no
role in the school's programs." The sorority system and the school's crowded
schedule of balls, parties, pageants, and festivals were all evidence of the
philosophy that stressed "character development" at least as much as
thinking and learning. Another aspect of the school, its wealth of artwork and statues, is related -- it was thought that
simply surrounding a young woman with as much culture as possible was a vital
part of her social training.
The type of social training that NPS offered and the role that it groom its students to play in society made it attractive to the powerful and corporate elite of the day. The students were drawn from some of the wealthiest of families, with last names like Boyardee, Chrysler, Heinz, Swift, Wrigley, Kraft, and Hershey.
Dr. Ament saw no reason to radically change the direction of NPS. However, by the time of the Great Depression, the time for this role for NPS had passed. Roy Tasco Davis changed the orientation of the school to provide training in employable skills, and he changed the name of the school to National Park College to reflect a new emphasis on academic training.
This page was last maintained on 05/21/98.