This day, June 12, 1949, marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the dedication of the Engineering building. Built for $500,000, the 45,000 square foot, three-story building for Engineering and Physics was furnished with equipment purchased through war surplus, acquired by donations, or built-to-spec by our own faculty. As a basement was not part of the original building plan (or covered by budget), Brother Godfrey Vassallo, C.S.C., other faculty, and dedicated students dug out the basement themselves using hand tools. This new structure was not without its faults — though some claim that insufficient lighting and a noisy heating system added character to the building.
Spring forward to the 21st century to a thriving School of Engineering in need of classrooms and space to house the equipment and technology needed for teaching the rapidly growing number of students enrolled in multiple engineering programs. In 2008, with lead gifts from distinguished alumni and benefactors, Darlene and Donald ’51 Shiley and Sharon and Ed ’56 Sweo, the Engineering building underwent a complete remodel and expansion, nearly doubling in size and providing a state-of-the-art facility. From the darkness of the basement labs, the School is newly re-housed within its old home, renamed Donald P. Shiley Hall, where light streams through expansive glass windows. This year the Shiley School of Engineering conferred over 120 Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil Engineering and in the field of Computer Science on May 4, 2014 as part of the University of Portland Commencement Exercises.