Charlotte Priest
Charlotte Priest

The best source of information on this phase of the Seminary
comes from a series of articles written by Ric Nelson for the

NPS Alumnae Bulletin.
Those articles, and many of the photos which appear here,
are copyrighted by Ric Nelson. 
The photos are used here with his permission.

Mary Charlotte Priest was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on January 2, 1870, but shortly thereafter, her family moved to Washington, D.C. Her father had just obtained a job with the U.S. Treasury Department. However, within a couple of years, he changed jobs, so the family moved around while Charlotte was growing up.

When she was a child, she camped and picnicked in Forest Glen at "the Biggin," a tiny house owned by Eliza Tullock, a relative of both hers and Seymour Tullock (her cousin). During this time, she lived with an uncle, William Tullock in Washington, where she graduated from Central High School in 1889.

She continued her education, winning a full scholarship at Columbian University (now George Washington University). She graduated with a B.A. in 1893. As a new graduate without a teaching position, it was natural that her cousin Seymour would introduce her to the Cassedys when they started their school in 1894. She was the first teacher hired, and taught English Language and Literature.

The sorority system at NPS was created by Miss Priest. She began secretly meeting with several students in the school's first year. They formed a secret literary society which they called Chiopi. Even though Vesta Cassedy moved to assert her control over the situation by instituting another, more open society called Geuth-Hebrew and building the first sorority clubhouse for Geuth, Miss Priest was given the responsibility to develop the sorority system, becoming supervisor for what was eventually eight different societies.

Miss Priest became Prefect of Studies and was involved in the day-to-day administration of the school during the time that John Cassedy was distracted by Vesta's illness, and afterward when he was distracted by his infatuation with Stephana Prager and eventually lost interest in running the school. She was later promoted to Assistant Dean. She died in 1929.

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