When James McGivern arrived at Gonzaga, the engineering program was hidden away in a crowded room below the gymnasium. The few pieces of engineering equipment on hand were heavy, and big! McGivern used to take advantage of this."Gonzaga University Archives"
Every time the school had a vacation, he would begin what he termed his "advancement of engineering." He and a few of his burliest students would move one of their heaviest pieces to some unoccupied space belonging to another department. It was just too heavy to move back - which is how the engineering school first began to grow in size.
It's been growing ever since those days under the guidance of its founder, Dr. McGivern. His dream of a real home for engineering was realized in 1948, when a building for the school was completed, Dillon Hall. McGivern retired in 1975, but kept in close contact with the School until his death in 1991.
Those who studied under McGivern will remember his cigars, his Boston accent, and that old green Chrysler he used to tinker with. He will continue to be remembered, thanks to the Dr. James G. McGivern Endowed Scholarship. McGivern once said that of all the awards and honors he received, having a scholarship fund in his name meant the most to him. To this day, friends, family members and former students still contribute to the fund, which has grown to over $1.3 million and has awarded more than 300 scholarships.