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Benefactor Tom Shields passes away at 83

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By Holly Cardoza

Long-time Stonehill benefactor and healthcare entrepreneur, Thomas Shields, died April 2 at age 83.
Shields and his wife Mary donated $7 million to build the Science Center in 2009, which is now named after them. It was one of many donations the couple made to the College.

The $7 million donation from the Shields is the largest donation to the college to date.

Father of two Stonehill alumni, William ’84 and Thomas ’92, and one trustee, Carmel, Shields served on the Board of Trustees from 1994-2002 and received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Stonehill in 1994. He was also chairman of the College’s first capital campaign, “Securing the Vision” which raised $23 million from 1992-1997.

One of Shields’s greatest contributions was the Shields scholarship, established by Shields and his wife, which has helped over 140 students.

Each year the Shields would meet with scholarship recipients over dinner and learn of the students’ achievements.

“Generous to a fault he immersed himself in the life of the College, always leading by example,” said President John Denning, in a statement.

Shields was the CEO and founder of Shields Healthcare Group, which offered several medical services and facilities to people throughout New England. Starting the business with his wife Mary in 1972, they first opened a nursing home together in Brockton.

Shields would later open the first independent MRI center in Brockton.

A celebration of Tom’s life was held on April 10 in Weymouth. A funeral Mass was held Saturday, April 10.

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