Postcard views of Notre Dame


Cushing Hall, built in 1933 and designed by Notre Dame architects Kervick and Fagan.

Cushing Hall, built in 1933 and designed by Notre Dame architects Kervick and Fagan.


I thought that since the first game at Notre Dame Stadium this year is with the Boilermakers, it's only fitting to feature the heart of Notre Dame's fine school of engineering, Cushing Hall.

The following description of Cushing Hall is from the superb guide book, Notre Dame, the Official Campus Guide, by Damaine Vonada. It's available in the book section at:


The Cushing Hall of Engineering

Engineering is one the most time-honored courses of study at Notre Dame. The first classes date back to the fall of 1873, when a fledgling civil engineering course taught by only one professor made Notre Dame the first Catholic university in the nation to offer a degree in engineering. The first graduate -a Cassius M. Proctor of Elkhart, Indiana-received his diploma in 1875, and by the turn of the century, courses in mechanical and electrical engineering had been added to the curriculum in response to the nation's expanding technological needs. The College of Engineering was organized in 1920, and during World War II, the scientific and technological training that thousands of naval officers received at Notre Dame not only significantly boosted engineering enrollments, but also prompted the postwar growth of graduate and research programs. Today, about 1,400 undergraduate and 250 graduate students are enrolled in departments of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, Computer Science and Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. Notre Dame's College of Engineering is housed in Cushing and Fitzpatrick halls, but experiments are also conducted in the high tech wind tunnels and specialized laboratories of the Hessert Center for Aerospace Research along St. Joseph's Drive. Opened in 1991, this world-class facility was provided by Thomas J. Hessert, a Cherry Hill, New Jersey, construction company executive and engineering advisory council member who was graduated from Notre Dame in 1928.

The opening of Cushing Hall in 1933 was a real milestone for the College of Engineering because it marked the first time that all the engineering departments were housed under one roof. Located immediately east of the Law School, the building was a gift from John F. Cushing, who had nearly dropped out of Notre Dame because he didn't have enough money for his senior year. President Morrissey, however, decided to simply forgive Cushing's tuition, which allowed him to finish his civil engineering degree and graduate with his class in 1906. Cushing eventually became president of the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, and when Notre Dame needed a new engineering building, he gladly repaid Morrissey's kindness with a $300,000 donation. Designed by Kervick and Fagan in their favorite collegiate Gothic style, Cushing Hall's exterior is embellished with the names of history's great scientists and engineers as well as traditional engineering tools such as a square and compass. In the building's baronial lobby, intricate mosaics continue the engineering theme, and the gorgeous ceiling is decorated with a variety of botanical and geometric forms. If you look closely, you can spot a graceful script version of the familiar block N-D.





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