Compton Laboratory of Physics was completed in 1965 and was dedicated in 1966. The 65,000-square-foot, 5-level structure contains labs, offices, and library space for the Department of Physics in Arts & Sciences. The building was erected as a memorial to Arthur Holly Compton in recognition of his achievements as a physicist and chancellor. Compton's association with the University began when he became Wayman Crow Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Physics Department in 1920.
During his four years as a faculty member, Compton did the experimental work which resulted in his being awarded the Nobel Prize — he was the first faculty member to be so honored. In 1923 he left the University for the University of Chicago, returning in 1945 to serve as Chancellor until 1953. During his Chancellorship, Compton brought many outstanding faculty to the University, particularly in the sciences, and in so doing began the University's rise to national stature.