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About the School of Medicine Faculty Memorial

Corazones de Nuevo México

Williams speaks with Dr. Roth at the groundbreaking ceremony
Memorial designer Christina Williams talks with UNM Chancellor for Health Sciences Paul Roth and Emeritus Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Phil Eaton at the Oct. 11, 2013, groundbreaking ceremony

The landscaped garden and art installation, The Corazones de Nuevo Mexico Faculty Memorial Garden, was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s first medical student class in 1964. The memorial, which is located in the Canyon Garden, in the lower-level plaza at the UNM Health Sciences Center, will be dedicated in the Spring of 2019. The Memorial honors our faculty, now deceased, and their dedication to excellence in teaching, discovery and patient care.

The Memorial was designed by Ms. Christine Williams, a 2012 graduate of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning, in association with a design team from Garrett Smith, Ltd. Ms. Williams' concept for the Memorial celebrates the patients, the students, and the faculty who make up the School of Medicine’s educational family. In Ms. Williams' design, heartbeats are evoked with stainless steel tubes arranged throughout a serpentine bench, which reposes within a landscaped garden to invite interaction. Ms. Williams hit on the idea of using rods to visually represent a heartbeat on an EKG. Each of the Memorial’s engraved tubes is dedicated to a deceased colleague, and together convey a heartbeat imagery, “The Heart of New Mexico.” In addition to the engraved memorial, the contributions of deceased faculty are recognized through a complementary web-based memorial containing departmental affiliations, historical information, photographs, personal recollections and professional details.

Dr. Jeffrey Griffith, the medical school’s emeritus executive vice dean, developed the idea of a statewide competition for the memorial design. The competition to design the memorial was sponsored by the UNM School of Medicine and organized by the UNM School of Architecture and Planning. A competition jury of professionals was selected from UNM and the community, and chaired by Roger Schluntz, former dean of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning. Ms. Williams' design was one of about 25 selected in the juried competition. A total of $17,000 in prize money was awarded.

Griffith says, "We love the idea that the winning design was created by a student, for students, to memorialize the incredible vision, talent and commitment of our School of Medicine faculty – then and now."

The Design Competition

Sponsored by the UNM School of Medicine, the statewide competition to design the memorial was organized by the UNM School of Architecture and Planning, and took place over four months. A total of $17,000 in prize money was awarded. Eligible competitors included members of the AIA/NM Young Architects Forum, currently enrolled graduate students at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning, and emerging professionals in architecture and landscape architecture in New Mexico.

Design awards

Christine WilliamsChristine Williams was selected as the winner with her design proposal called "The People’s Heartbeat," which was developed in association with a design team from Garrett Smith, Ltd.

Other finalists for the competition were Javan Chapple, in association with The Design Group of NM, and Ben Ortega, in association with SMPC Architects. Also formally recognized for their design submissions and receiving Citation Awards were Meredith Ellis and Andrew Bernard.

Jury members

The competition jury of eight professionals was selected from UNM and the community and chaired by Roger Schluntz, former Dean of the UNM School of Architecture.

  • Philip Eaton, MD, Emeritus VP for Health Sciences
  • Jeffrey Griffith, PhD, Emeritus Executive Vice Dean, UNM School of Medicine
  • Laura Hall, Sr. Program Manager, HSLIC
  • Gene Dyer, AIA, Architect
  • Geoff Adams, AIA, Director of the Architecture Program/Faculty
  • Robert Doran, AIA, University Architect
  • Alf Simon, Assoc. Dean of the SA+P, past head of the Landscape Architecture Program/Faculty

Memorial Banner Concept Art