Higgins Hall is located between Devlin Hall and Cushing Hall. It is named for John P. Higgins, longtime associate of Stephen P. Mugar, whose philanthropic support aided in the construction of the building.
Interest in space programs, medical research, and more-advanced graduate studies was increasing during the 1960s. It became obvious that Devlin Hall, the original science building, was in serious need of major renovations to enlarge the Chemistry and Geology Departments' facilities, as well as to accommodate a more sophisticated science library. In order to provide additional space for Boston College's expanding science programs, therefore, the construction of a new science building was undertaken in 1965.
Father Michael P. Walsh, SJ — president of Boston College, and a professional biologist in his own right — broke ground for the new science building on March 29, 1965. Assisting in the ceremonies was Stephen P. Mugar, president of Star Markets, who contributed more than half a million dollars for the new building and asked that it be named for John P. Higgins, a longtime personal and professional friend. Higgins Hall would become home to the Biology and Physics departments, which moved out of Devlin Hall.
After 30 years, it became necessary to update the scientific facilities of these departments, as well as to modernize Higgins' electrical systems and provide additional teaching and research laboratories. Therefore, in 1997 Boston College launched a major renovation and expansion of Higgins in order to meet current standards for scientific teaching and research. As part of this renovation, an addition was built across the front of the building, with an atrium created between the addition and the existing structure.