Attracting and retaining outstanding talent is a perennial concern for many organizations. It can be especially difficult for academic institutions in an era of reduced government funding. It’s tougher still for small organizations away from large urban areas. So, the University of New Mexico Cancer Center’s recent Investiture Ceremony was an exceptional event in many ways.
The Investiture Ceremony, held Tuesday, December 17, 2013, honored 15 outstanding faculty members. The newly endowed faculty represent six different clinical and basic sciences departments at the UNM School of Medicine. Each has made groundbreaking contributions to his or her field in cancer research or cancer treatment.
The Ceremony also honored representatives from the families of the donors. “Without these generous gifts to the UNM Cancer Center, these endowments would not be possible. We would not have been able to attract and retain the caliber of the physicians and scientists we have here,” said Cheryl Willman, MD, the Director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. Dr. Willman welcomed representatives from the Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface and the Carolyn R. Surface Family Trust, from the Maralyn S. Budke Estate, and from the Maurice and Marguerite Liberman Estate.
The UNM Cancer Center is the only cancer center in New Mexico with designation from the National Cancer Institute. It is one of 68 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country, but the only one within a 500 mile radius. And, of the subset of NCI-designated cancer centers that offer cancer treatment in addition to conducting research, it is only one of three that accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay. “To continue to be successful,” said Dr. Willman, “we need the continued support of our donors to recruit and retain great faculty and staff.”
About the Newly Endowed UNM Cancer Center Faculty
Receiving the Carolyn R. Surface Endowed Chair was: Anita Kinney, PhD, RN.
Receiving the Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Professorships were: Sarah Adams, MD; Vittorio Cristini, PhD; Scott Ness, PhD; Mary Ann Osley, PhD; Eric Prossnitz, PhD; and Ashwani Rajput, MD, FACS.
Receiving the Maralyn S. Budke Endowed Chair was: Renata Pasqualini, PhD.
Receiving the Maralyn S. Budke and Robert E. Anderson Endowed Chair was: Larry Sklar, PhD.
Michael Spafford, MD, previously received the Maralyn S. Budke Endowed Chair.
Cheryl Willman, MD, previously received the Maurice and Marguerite Liberman Distinguished Endowed Chair.
About the UNM Cancer Center
The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the state. One of just 68 premier NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide, the UNM Cancer Center is recognized for its scientific excellence, contributions to cancer research, the delivery of high quality, state of the art cancer diagnosis and treatment to all New Mexicans, and its community outreach programs statewide. Annual federal and private funding of over $77 million supports the UNM Cancer Center’s research programs. The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 60 percent of the adults and virtually all of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer, from every county in the state. It is home to New Mexico’s largest team of board-certified oncology physicians and research scientists, representing every cancer specialty and hailing from prestigious institutions such as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic. Through its partnership with Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, the UNM Cancer Center brings world-class cancer care to the southern part of the state; its collaborative clinical programs in Santa Fe and Farmington serve northern New Mexico and it is developing new collaborative programs in Alamogordo and in Roswell/Carlsbad. The UNM Cancer Center also supports several community outreach programs to make cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment available to every New Mexican. Learn more at www.cancer.unm.edu.