Built as the result of a financial campaign begun in the spring of 1939, the building was a long overdue replacement for the facilities in Bellarmine Hall. When it opened in the fall of 1941, Haggerty Hall included seventeen laboratories, facilities for classes in electrical, chemical, and civil engineering, photography rooms, research, illumination, photo-elastic welding, and fifteen classrooms. Rather than holding a formal dedication with one big open house, a series of open houses were held with members of the faculty conducting tours for groups interested in engineering. The front entrance is intentionally asymmetrical, designed so one buttress is semi-octagonal with a turret, and the other square and without a turret.
Originally named the Engineering Building, the name was changed to Patrick E. Haggerty Hall in 1988. Haggerty, co-founder of Texas Instruments, Inc., was a 1936 graduate and a long-time university benefactor. He received the Engineering Distinguished Alumnus and All-University Alumnus of the Year Awards in 1966 and 1972 respectively, and was honored with an honorary degree in 1960.
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