Founded in 1867 while Baylor University was still at Independence, Texas, the Calliopean Society was the first female literary society organized at the university. There were already male literary societies, the Philomathesians and Erisophians, on campus. The societies held debates and competitions as part of university programs, such as San Jacinto Day. The Calliopeans utilized a leadership structure that allowed almost every member to gain leadership experience by requiring officers to hold their positions for a limited time. Members often presented essays at the meetings. Each of the societies had their own library, which they later donated to Baylor’s library in exchange for scholarship money. The popularity of the societies decreased in the 1920s as more organizations and clubs came to campus, but they remain cemented in history as one of the first social activities at Baylor.
More information about the Calliopean Society can be found in BU Records: Calliopean Literary Society at The Texas Collection.