Theodore Parnall Classroom Reveal

June 13, 2024

theodore parnell

On May 1, 2024, the University of New Mexico School of Law honored Dean Emeritus Theodore “Ted” Parnall by dedicating a classroom to him. The School of Law marked the occasion with a ceremony for the family and friends of Dean Emeritus Parnall and members of the School of Law community. Dean Camille Carey, Bert Parnall - son of Dean Emeritus Parnall and School of Law alumnus - shared heartfelt stories and gratitude for Dean Emeritus Parnall and unveiled classroom signage commemorating his legacy at the School of Law.

Dean Emeritus Parnall attended Atrisco Elementary School, Ernie Pyle Middle School, and Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque’s South Valley. He was an integral part of the School of Law community for more than half a century, entering as a student in 1963 and later serving as Professor and Dean. Notably, Dean Emeritus Parnall holds the distinction of being the only UNM School of Law alumnus to serve as Dean of the School.

During his time serving as Dean from 1986 to 1991, Dean Emeritus Parnall oversaw the implementation of several noteworthy changes including an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution changing the judicial nominating process and the establishment of the New Mexico Court of Appeals building on the UNM campus. Dean Emeritus Parnall’s initiatives also included the introduction of the Guanajuato, Mexico summer program for the School of Law and the establishment of the U.S. Mexico Trade Law Institute. In recognition of his continuing contributions, Dean Emeritus Parnall was honored as Professor Emeritus of the School of Law in 1997. 

theodore parnell

At the ceremony honoring him, Dean Emeritus Parnall expressed gratitude to his wife, Kathy, and to his three lawyer sons, Bert, David, and Charles, as well as to his classmates, former students, and colleagues. He reflected: “There is no other place that I would rather be on this Law Day 2024 than at the University of New Mexico School of Law—this magnificent institution to which all of the members of the Parnall family, and so many of us in this group, owe so much. I hope all of us will continue to cherish and respect this important and essential part of New Mexico’s legal framework. We may have a long way to go, but improving the rule of law domestically and internationally has been my most important professional goal. Bert and Marta’s generosity is going to make it possible for more young people to attend this law school. If those students have one tenth of the satisfaction and fun that I have had with my UNM law degree, they will be among the luckiest lawyers in this country.” Dean Emeritus Parnall and Mrs. Parnall’s commitment to the School of Law was honored in perpetuity with the creation of the Kathryn and Ted Parnall Scholarship for Law as an Instrument of Economic Growth and Social Development in 2013.

Room 2403 in Bratton Hall showcases a photo and plaque in honor of Dean Emeritus Parnall.