Cavanaugh Hall is named after Rev. John W. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., who served as president of the University from 1905 to 1914. Cavanaugh Hall is the only residence hall on North Quad without a door facing the quad because when it was built it was at the northeast edge of campus and it was assumed at that time that campus would not stretch any further north or east. During World War II, Cavanaugh Hall housed naval officers. The hall was built in 1936.
Cavanaugh Hall was renovated in 1989 and became a women’s residence hall in 1994 to accommodate the rising enrollment of women at the University. The hall plays host to Snowball, an annual formal dance.