Senior Class Shovels

In 2008, a new Stonehill College tradition was born: the selection of a Senior Class Shovel. Each year, the president of the senior class selects a shovel to represent the class from the Arnold B. Tofias Archives, more commonly known as the Ames Shovel Museum. In a formal address delivered at Academic Convocation in late August, the senior class president describes the shovel and its connection to class that will graduate in May. The president of the college receives and recognizes the shovel, which then finds its home for the academic year on display on the first floor of MacPhaidin Library. The tradition serves as a mechanism to connect the Stonehill community to the college’s rich historical connection to the Ames family and their influence on the world’s industrial framework through their shovels.



Class of 2018 Class of 2017 Class of 2016 Class of 2015 Class of 2014 Class of 2013

Class of 2012 Class of 2011 Class of 2010 Class of 2009


Class of 2018: President Tyler Normile

Ames malleable iron potatot scoop (1973-328)

Shovel ID Number: 374

Materials: Wood, steel, paper

Dimensions: 40 x 13 x 8.5 inches

Description: Malleable iron potato scoop with T. Rowland wooden D handle.

From Normile's speech: "This shovel has the overall shape of an Ames Fireman's shovel designed for removing ash and debris. It is believed that during the early 20th century, some farmers were in need of a faster and more efficient way of harvesting their crops, in particular potatoes. What the Ames family did, is take a complex problem, and find a simple, yet innovative solution to the problem. All they did, was cut these slits into the metal of the shovel to allow the farmers to filter out the dirt and rocks and hold onto the potatoes. For me, this is what Stonehill teaches us. Stonehill teaches us to take a complex problem and to be innovators by finding a simple yet effective solution to that problem. Stonehill teaches us to change the world when we leave here."

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Class of 2017: President Sarah Gaffney

O. Ames # 2 signature branded four star shovel (1973-361)

Shovel ID Number: 407

Materials: Wood, steel, paper

Dimensions: 38.5 x 9 x 6.5 inches

Description: Ames # 2 signature branded four star shovel with a round point blade and a split dee handle. Includes shield on blade. #2 refers to the size.  2 was the most common size blade. The four star signature branded shovel was the highest grade shovel manufactured by Ames.  The Brand was described by the company as “in a class by itself, representing the best materials and workmanship that can be produced.”

From Gaffney's speech: "This shovel was the highest-grade shovel that was manufactured by Ames. While it is important to understand the history and hear the features of this shovel, what stood out to me is the company’s description of it. This particular brand of shovel was labeled as 'a class by itself, representing the best materials and workmanship that can be produced.' To me, I couldn’t imagine a more fitting description for the Stonehill community."

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Class of 2016: President Cody Page

1945 Folding Entrenching tool (1973-307)

Shovel ID Number: 353

Materials: Wood, steel, paint

Dimensions: 28 x 6 x 2.5 inches

Description: Round point blade

From Page's speech: “What makes this type of shovel unique is its compact stature…it was mainly used as an entrenching tool for digging fox holes but occasionally also used as a weapon in combat. The shovel’s compactness and durability I like to equate to Stonehill…Stonehill’s student body of roughly 2,500 is minuscule compared to larger universities, but our reach appears boundless.”

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Class of 2015: President Austin Alfredson

o. ames breakdown shovel (1973-333)

Shovel ID Number: 379

Materials: wood, steel, and paper

Dimensions: 43 x 11 x 8.5 inches

Description: An Eastern Patter Breakdown/Coaling Scoop with riveted back construction. Size 2 point scoop, wooden “D” handle, four-star signature blade was the highest quality Ames shovel

From Alfredson’s Speech: “This Shovel was used to breakdown coal during the 20th century which fueled innovation for years to come. As for us at Stonehill College, it’s important to do the same - break down the things that hold us back in order to fuel our futures. To the incoming Class of 2018, I challenge you today … to break down stereotypes … And to the Class of 2015, we've come a long way. Let’s continue to break down individual barriers and accomplish the goals we've set out to do.”

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Class of 2014: President James Dunn

O. Ames #2 Cast Steel shovel (1973-073)

Shovel ID Number: 028

Materials: wood, steel, and paper

Dimensions: 36 x 9.82 x 5.75 inches

Description: A size 2, square point shovel, wooden “D” handle, made of cast steel

From Dunn’s Speech: ‘“Track shovels like this one were used in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, as a young America expanded its reach from Atlantic to Pacific. Here at Stonehill, we’re each working to build our own paths to the future. …  the members of this class have exceptional potential. Just as the Ames family provided shovels like this to the construction of the great Transcontinental Railroad, Stonehill has given us the tools to realize that potential.”

* The Class of 2014 shovel was not formally presented because Convocation was combined with President Denning’s inauguration

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Class of 2013: President Lindsay Beauregard

O. Ames #3 4-Star signatured (1973-204)

Shovel ID Number: 250

 Materials: wood, steel, and paper

Dimensions: 39 x 9.5 x 6 inches

Description: A round point shovel equipped with the Ames Split Dee Handled and most likely a one piece back shovel. A size three shovel and the highest grade produced

From Beauregard’s Speech: “Somewhere between contemplating the never ending question: ‘what kind of shovel best represents our class?’ and getting flooded with ‘This Week at the Farm’ emails, I found the answer - an Ames family farming shovel. … My classmates and I came to Stonehill 3 years ago… We were not fully grown; had not yet reached our full potential. … Like the Farm at Stonehill, the entire Stonehill community ranging from our professors, advisors, administrators, resident directors, and peers have helped us grow into the people we are today. … let’s continue to grow with each other’s help.”

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Class of 2012: President Meagan Harrington 

Ground zero shovel (9/11 Shovel)

Shovel ID Number: No ID


Dimensions: 51.125 x 20 x 9.25 inches

Description: Fragmented in two pieces, yellow handle, 2 inches from top of fragment of handle still in neck to top of the neck of the blade

From Harrington’s Speech: “I would like to ask everyone to think back to what they were doing 10 years ago today. I know I can’t remember what I was doing, but I can remember the tragedies that occurred 10 years ago on September 11th. A New York City police Detective Joseph Wedge a graduate of the Class of 1985 was among the first responders to the attacks… Detective Wedge looked at this shovel as a good luck charm. … The shovel represents the physical and mental sacrifice people made. … I encourage you on your journey to develop a lifelong desire for self-discovery and commitment to service… Just as Joe and his fellow responders followed the values of light and hope, I hope that you too will embrace these values.”


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Class of 2011: President Matthew Gorman

Military entrenching tool (1973-308)

Shovel ID Number: 354

 Materials: wood, steel, and paint

 Dimensions: 22 x 7 x 2 inches

 Description: T-handle; round point blade 

 From Gorman's Speech: "This small, yet sturdy tool is a symbol of the sacrifices that many of our grandparents and relative made serving our country sixty years ago... This shovel is also a representation of the values present in our community today. An embodiment of the fact that true fulfillment comes from serving causes greater than oneself. ... to my seniors, my fellow classmates and friends: you have shown what it means to be agents of compassion - logging hundreds of hours of service and touching countless lives during the last three years. Let us keep that spirit of service - this time as the leaders of the student body -- as we prepare to take what we have learned within these walls out into the real world. 

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Class of 2010: President Kevin Driscoll

anderson #8; A (1973-440)

Shovel ID Number: 486

Materials: wood, steel, and paper

Dimensions: 42.75 x 12.5 x 7.5 inches

Description: Believed to be wooden "D" breakdown shovel 

From Driscoll’s Speech: “ I chose a shovel that I thought best brought out the qualities of strength, determination, and hope. We are not digging ourselves out of a hole, but rather using this shovel to create a new America. It starts right here, especially with the seniors who will soon be entering the workforce with new ideas, a vibrant energy, and recognition of the fact that


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Class of 2009: President Wes Evans

o. Ames 4 star signatured round point blade(1973-579)

Shovel ID Number: 626

Materials: wood, steel, and paper

Dimensions: 38.5 x 9.75 x 6.25 inches

Description: Round point blade, "Y" handle, crest on blade

From Evans’s Speech: “As the students, faculty, and staff view this shovel on display in the library, I would hope that we take the time to recognize the history and tradition behind the land and people which form Stonehill College. the Ames family produced a visible seventh generation effect evident today at this convocation. … So today, acknowledge the hard work which has gotten you to this point, assess the ways in which you could improve and realize the tradition which this shovel represents.”

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