In the 1940s and 1950s many Humanities majors harbored Law School ASPIRATIONS. Liberal Arts universities can suffer out-sized ambitions too. In the years immediately following World War II, as response and answer to the needs of returned Veterans, surging enrollment had the University of Portland dreaming big dreams. The 1949 State of the University Address promised both a Law School and a School of Engineering. Fr. Bob Sweeney, C.S.C., who in the next year was to become the 12th University President, proposed how it would only cost $5 million to right-size the campus. Taking that 70-year old Five-Year Plan as a Wish-List / Check-List, there is still no Law School.
The Engineering Building did in fact open in 1949 (it was already under construction as these promises were made); and we got the free-standing library in 1959– no football program though. More recently, the ‘Aged Building’ housing Engineering received a 2009 face-lift, and today in 2019, the University of Portland Shiley School of Engineering is ranked 26th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. The University of Portland keeping the promise and the vision by providing innovative programs and facilities to meet the needs and challenge the minds of the current 4000+ student body (a total larger than the 1950 alumni mailing list!)
UP Press Release, September 10, 2019