The passage of time is marked by both big and small moments. Seventy-five years ago, 134 men enrolled and began classes at the new Congregation of Holy Cross school in Easton—Stonehill College. With only two buildings and eight faculty members, Stonehill was a small college with a mighty mission to lead with heart. 

In the years that have followed, Stonehill has flourished. Academic programs challenge our students. New buildings have transformed the Quad. Student activities contribute to life on campus, and our athletic teams are soaring to new levels of competition. 

Now 30,000 alumni strong, Stonehill continues to be guided by its mission as it honors its motto of Lux et Spes (Light and Hope).

While it would be impossible to capture all of the extraordinary moments—both big and small—that have shaped Stonehill, SAM traveled through the decades by way of the College Archives and ACRES yearbooks as well as history books, artifacts, timelines and oral histories. From significant milestones to snippets of campus life, scroll through to see snapshots of Stonehill throughout our 75 years leading with heart. 


  • Humble Beginnings

    On June 29, 1948, Stonehill College was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross and was officially dedicated on October 12, 1948.

  • Lab Space

    The Science Building—the first building constructed by the College—opens in 1949.

  • Hoops

    Men’s basketball is Stonehill’s first venture into athletics in late fall of 1948. 

Just as the oak tree, rising from a mere acorn, grows tall and powerful; so also will the influence of Stonehill reach out to enrich an area far greater than Southeastern Massachusetts.

  • Read All About It

    First issue of The Summit is distributed on campus on November 3, 1949.

  • In the Ring

    Boxing begins at Stonehill in 1950. Richard Gallery ’55, who fought the last heavyweight bout, recalled, "We won many more than we lost."

  • Expanding Opportunities

    In 1951, Stonehill becomes coeducational as 19 women enroll. 

  • First Grads

    The first Commencement was held in 1952. The next year, the tradition of holding Commencement outside begins, and Luice Moncey ’53 is the College’s first female graduate.

  • A Discovery

    A student excavation on lower campus in 1957 leads to the discovery of relics from late 17th century, era of King Philip, Chief of the Wampanoag Indians. 

  • Having a Ball

    A ticket for admission to the Jester's Ball in the Stonehill gymnasium, one of the monthly dances held in 1957. 

We take our place with the other recognized colleges of New England and the nation.

  • The Write Stuff

    Cairn, Stonehill's first literary magazine, is published in 1960. 

  • O'Hara Life

    Stonehill was considered a commuter college until O'Hara Hall opens as a men's residence in 1961. 

  • On the Airwaves

    In February 1965, Stonehill established its own radio station, WSTO 640 AM. After a dial change, the radio station becomes  WSHL 91.3 FM in February 1974.

New Hall

In 1967, Boland Hall opens as a residence for women.


  • Student Activism

    In response to the Kent State University shootings and other national crises, Communiversity is held during the last two weeks of the semester in May 1970. 

  • Evening Division

    On September 14, 1970, the Evening College opens with 181 students. Classes are offered four evenings per week over a 15-week semester.  

  • Tradition of Theatre

    Since 1949, Stonehill's theatre arts groups have showcased superb productions. After undergoing a renovation in 1973, the Hemingway Auditorium turns into a 267-seat theatre. In the spring of 1974, the new Hemingway Theatre opens as part of Stonehill's 25th anniversary celebration.

Living and Learning

In the ’70s, nontraditional learning experiences are offered, such as internships, the Peace Corps, VISTA and Army ROTC.
  • A Space for Worship

    The Chapel of Mary, also housing a human resources center, opens in 1978.

  • Snow Days

    The historic blizzard of  1978 dumps 27 inches of snow on the Eastern Seaboard over two days. Building and Grounds plows to keep roads and fire lanes open. 

  • Athletics on the Rise

    In 1980, Stonehill becomes a founding member of the NCAA Division II Northeast-7 Conference, which in 1987 became the Northeast-10 Conference.

  • Up, Up and Away

    On a Saturday afternoon in 1986, a hot air balloon ride over Donahue, sponsored by the junior class, is offered to those who bought a $5 ticket. 

  • Martin Institute

    Joseph W. Martin Jr. Institute opens in 1990 to serve Southeastern Massachusetts and as a repository for Congressman Joseph Martin's papers.

  • Intercultural Affairs

    In 1992, Jean Hamler pioneers student diversity efforts on campus and works with the College's international students as the first director of Intercultural Affairs.

A Popular Spot

In April 1970, Brother Mike's Coffeehouse opens in an O'Hara Hall recreation room to provide a safe, on-campus option for students to socialize. Named after Brother Mike Massaro, C.S.C., a popular figure on campus, Brother Mike's originally operates for 20 hours each week. Classmates gather for Thursday and Friday afternoon happy hours (known as the 180 Club), football games, mixers, Halloween and St. Patrick's Day, 100 Days Celebration and the Senior Last Stand. Along with these events, the coffeehouse also hosts non-alcohol-related events and special parties for the Alumni and Admission departments. In 2000, the Brother Mike's of O'Hara Hall closes. It is now located in The Hill in the Roche Dining Commons. Trivia nights and karaoke are popular evenings at Brother Mike's, with music serving as a big part of the atmosphere.
  • Volunteer Opportunities

    Founded  in 1992, Into the Streets sponsors students who volunteer at social service agencies. 

  • Tournament Rounds

    Women's basketball, led by Coach Paula Sullivan, competes in the Elite Eight tournament in 1994 and in the Final Four in 1995. 

  • Summer Research

    Professor of Chemistry Louis Liotta establishes the Stonehill Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) in 1996. The program pairs student researchers with faculty mentors for eight to 10 weeks each summer, across a variety  of disciplines, to conduct publishable research. 

  • Telling Time

    The clock on the quad, donated by the Class of 1996, has become a signature feature of Stonehill's campus.

  • H.O.P.E.-Ful

    In 1997, Campus Ministry launches a service immersion program, H.O.P.E.—Honoring our neighbor, Organizing for justice, Practicing peace, Encountering God. 

  • A New Library

    The MacPháidín Library opens in 1998. The headline in The Summit from September 24 reads, "Unveiling Stonehill's New Centerpiece."


  • A Memorial

    The Class of 2002’s senior class gift is a 9/11 Memorial flagpole in remembrance of those who died in the September 11 attacks.

  • 50th Reunions

    In 2002, the Pillar Society, the College's 50-year club, is established for those who graduated more than a half-century ago. The name reflects the prominence of the pillars that distinguish Donahue Hall and the Class of 1952's position as the pillar on which much of Stonehill tradition rests. Each year at Reunion, Pillar Society members are invited back to campus to gather and celebrate.

  • Champions

    Women’s lacrosse captures Stonehill’s first two NCAA National Championships in 2003 and 2005, highlighting a run of nine-straight NE10 regular season championships, including eight undefeated seasons, and eight-straight NE10 Tournament crowns. Stonehill’s 2003 title [pictured] is won on campus with a 9-8 triumph over Longwood University.

Liberal education is a journey away from the narrowness of ignorance and prejudice and unexamined habit. It is a journey into the wideness of curiosity and wonder in the face of things human and divine.

  • Hello There

    W.B. Mason Stadium opens in 2005. "Ace" the Skyhawk, is unveiled as Stonehill's mascot.

  • A New Home for Science

    The Thomas and Mary Shields Science Center opens in 2009, housing the biology, chemistry, physics and psychology departments.

  • You Are Here

    An illustrated map from 2009 shows the new road that leads around campus as well as the location of the new Science Center.

  • Field of Greens

    The Farm at Stonehill is established in 2011. Since then, it has donated more than 95,000 pounds of organic produce to community partner organizations.

  • Big Win

    Corey Thomas ’13 earns the first individual NCAA National Championship by a Skyhawk, headlining a dominant decade for cross country and track & field, under the direction of Coach Karen Boen.

  • Good Ideas

    In 2013, Integrating Democratic Education at Stonehill (IDEAS) is introduced. The interdisciplinary, student-centered program encourages engagement, collaboration and active learning by creating an environment where students share their passions, wisdom and knowledge with one another.

Digging Deep

Just over 50 years ago, Stonehill received the Ames Shovel Collection, which was donated to the College by Arnold B. Tofias, who found the collection when he purchased the former Ames Shovel factory buildings in Easton. This unique collection is housed and displayed in Cushing-Martin Hall.

  • All Roads Lead

    In 2013, Stonehill roads are named after Congregation of Holy Cross priests who devoted most of their lives to the College.

  • Two Schools

    In 2017, Stonehill announces the creation of two schools—the Thomas and Donna May School of Arts & Sciences and Leo J. Meehan School of Business. The May School of Arts & Sciences and Welcome Center opens in 2018, and the Meehan School of Business opens in 2019. Professors Peter Ubertaccio and Debra Salvucci are named the founding deans, respectively. 

  • Pandemic Response

    Stonehill transitions to virtual learning amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alumni Hall turns into a testing center.


  • Go Hill!

    Stonehill rises to the NCAA Division I Northeast Conference [NEC] in 2022. "As the College approaches its 75th anniversary, this move to the Northeast Conference and NCAA Division I athletics signals that Stonehill is prepared to achieve its fullest potential both athletically and academically in years to come," says President John Denning, C.S.C. 

  • Student Success

    The Navigation Center for Student Success, bringing together Career Development, Tutoring, Academic Advising and Accessibility Resources, is launched in 2022.

  • Being Bold

    Stonehill's TO BE BOLD campaign raises a record $77.3 million—exceeding its $75 million goal—for student scholarships, academic programs and new facilities.

Special Prayer

In honor of Stonehill's 75th anniversary, a special edition of the prayer book "Lux et Spes" is distributed on campus. Rev. James Chichetto, C.S.C. ’64 contributed an anniversary prayer.
  • 30,000th

    At Commencement on May 21, 2023, Cristina Solorzano Valencia ’23 is awarded Stonehill's 30,000th degree. [With her parents, Adrian Solorzano and Sara Valencia.]

  • 75th Kicks Off

    Academic Convocation launches Stonehill's year-long 75th anniversary celebration on August 30, 2023.

Share Your Stonehill Memory

When you think of your Stonehill days, maybe you remember a favorite class, time well spent with good friends, or a special spot on campus. We’d love to hear your Stonehill memory.

Editor's Note

Information for this feature courtesy of Stonehill Archives, ACRES yearbooks, and "Fulfilling a Dream: Stonehill College from 1948-1998" by Richard Gribble, C.S.C.