Kresge Library

Groundbreaking Shovels

in the Oakland University Archives

Inventory and photographs by Megan Rochon

Completed as part of an Oakland University Department of English Intership.

 

The shovels below were used in most of the historic groundbreaking ceremonies for new construction at Oakland University. The older ones were used many times and each time a building was begun, an engraved ring was placed on the handle of the shovel. Some of the shovels were used at the same groundbreaking ceremony as several officials would each wield a shovel as they broke ground for the new addition to the Oakland campus. The most historic shovel is Shovel #1 which was used to break ground for the construction of Meadow Brook Hall in 1926 and was later used for the first buildings on the new MSU-O campus.

Shovel #1

Plaque on the handle: “This spade was used in breaking the ground for Meadow Brook Hall Rochester, Mich. Oct. 19th, 1926”

Also:

Foundation Hall – May 2, 1958
Oakland Center – April 8, 1959
Kresge Library – October 17, 1960
Science Building [Hannah Hall] – November 17, 1960
Student Residences – May 5, 1961
Intramural Building [Lepley] – October 12, 1961
Pryale House – November 6, 1962
Charles F. Kettering Magnetics Laboratory – September 4, 1963
Hill House – January 2, 1964
Howard C. Baldwin Pavilion – February 29, 1964
Matilda B. Wilson Hall – February 19, 1965

shovel1

Shovel #2

 

Kresge Library – October 17, 1960
C.O.B. #2 [O'Dowd] – November 2, 1978
Kresge Library Expansion – December 11, 1987
Science and Engineering Building – October 1, 1993
School of Business Administration & Information Technology Institute – April 20, 1999
Dr. Alvin R. Larson Hall of the University Honors College – April 11, 1996
Oakland University Recreation and Athletic Center – December 4, 1996
R & S Sharf Golf Course Groundbreaking – November 6, 1998

 

shovel2
Shovel #3

 

Student Service Center – April 20, 2000
Parking Structure – April 17, 2002
Education and Human Services Building [Pauley] – April 18, 2001
Student Housing Apartment Complex – April 18, 2001
Varner Memorial Garden Dedication – April 17, 2002

 

 

 

shovel

Shovel #4

 

Honors College

Dr. Alvin R. Larson Hall -- April 11, 1996

shovel#4

Shovel #5

 

Student Service Center (Oakland Center) -- April 20, 2000

Shovel#5

Shovel #6

 

Parking Structure -- April 17, 2002

 

 

 

shovel#6

Shovel # 7

 

Science & Engineering Building -- October 1, 1993

Shovel#7

Shovel #8

 

Unknown groundbreaking

 

 

shovel#8

 


Created on11/23/2010 by Linda Hildebrand / Last updated on 8/25/13 by Linda Hildebrand
Oakland University

Oakland University, Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd., Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370 - 4426