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.