Named for Rev. William J. Devlin, SJ, 15th president of Boston College, Devlin Hall is one of four buildings comprising the "Quad" in the Middle Campus.
Born in New York City in 1875, William Devlin spent most of his youth attending schools in Europe and vacationing in Ireland. He planned to enter the Society of Jesus in England, but when his father died, he returned to America. He was accepted into the Maryland Province for his studies in 1893. Before his ordination, he taught at Boston College for four years, and he continued as a member of the faculty after his ordination in 1908. In 1914 he was named Dean, the position he held when he was named President in 1919.
Seeing the need for a new classroom building for the sciences, Father Devlin launched a major fund drive during spring 1921. Ground was broken for the new Gothic structure in June 1921, and the first classes in chemistry, physics, and biology were held in Devlin Hall 1924. The building served for many years as the center for scientific research at Boston College.
As the various fields of the sciences grew more numerous, however, and as the need for research laboratories became more pressing, a second science building was considered necessary. The construction of Higgins Hall in 1966, followed by the movement of the Chemistry Department to a new building, provided much more space. After extensive renovations, Devlin Hall was re-opened in 1993 and became the site of an elegant art gallery, the McMullen Museum of Art, formally dedicated in 1996. Devlin Hall is also the location of the Undergraduate Admission office.