|Chiopi was the first sorority at National Park
Seminary. Actually, it was not intended to be a sorority, but started off as a secret
literary society. In 1895, Charlotte Priest began meeting
surreptitiously with a number of girls at unusual hours. The girls would sneak out of their
rooms to a place they called the "Mouse Hole" (an alcove formed where the
newly-constructed first Gymnasium met the Main building). Needless to say, these
comings-and-goings raised some concern about what sort of clandestine behavior was going
on. When she confronted Ms. Priest, Vesta Cassedy was relieved
to find out that it was a literary society. Nevertheless, she only grudgingly gave
permission for Chiopi to continue to meet. So that other students would not feel
excluded, Mrs. Cassedy organized a second, more public, sorority and built the first
clubhouse for that sorority (later called Alpha).
|Originally, the Chiopi clubhouse was an adaptation to the bungalow style, with slightly upturned edges of the roof giving it an Oriental flavor. Some sources refer to it as the Japanese bungalow. When the Chi Psi Upsilon Pagoda, which had a more pronounced and authentic Oriental style, went up right next door, suddenly the Chiopi house didn't look so Oriental anymore! The house was remodeled to give it a more conventional American bungalow look.|
This page was last maintained on 05/21/98.