Built in 1967 as the new science complex, Thompson Hall was named by the Board of Trustees in honor of the university's tenth president, R. Franklin Thompson, who served from 1942 to 1973 as president then stayed on post-retirement as chancellor, with responsibility for public relations, church relations, and financial development. Known as "Doc T" to the campus community, it's been said that Dr. Thompson knew every student's name during his time as president.

Thompson Hall's construction was facilitated by federal money and the United Methodist Church.

The dedication plaque reads:

Dr. R. Franklin Thompson President 1942-1973 University of Puget Sound, dedicated 1968 (picture). In recognition of outstanding service to the University of Puget sound through personal sacrifice and dedication for twenty-four years, under whose guidance the University has come to place emphasis on a planned program of academic growth. Be it known that the Board of Trustees of this University has unanimously adopted a resolution that the new science complex shall henceforth be called R. Franklin Thompson Hall and upon completion shall be so inscribed in fitting tribute to the man who has communicated the University of Puget Sound story over 48,000 times and raised over fifteen and one-half million dollars while continuing his duties as an eminent University president and administrator.