Project Spotlight: CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Donor Recognition System

Two women viewing the donor recognition wall created by PDG for CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital.

Learn how collaborative planning, functional adaptability, placemaking, and a comprehensive donor recognition system set up CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital for fundraising success.


CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital, the premier acute care medical center in South Texas, embarked on a meaningful journey with the opening of its new North Tower. To honor and express gratitude to its donor family, the CHRISTUS Spohn Healthcare Foundation selected PDG to create a comprehensive donor recognition system. The project featured a central donor recognition wall in the lobby and an integrated plaque system for donor-named spaces throughout the tower. The display commemorates campaign donors and lays the groundwork for acknowledging ongoing annual and cumulative giving, demonstrating a forward-looking approach.

Close-up of donor names on the donor recognition wall created by PDG for CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital.

Key Features:

  1. Recognition System: An awe-inspiring 80-foot immersive donor recognition wall, conceived by PDG, graces a prominent lobby wall. The design, evoking the serene beauty of the beach, ocean, and sky as viewed from Corpus Christi, serves as both a captivating art piece and a central focus for donor recognition.
  1. Collaborative Planning: From a design perspective, early planning and collaboration with the Foundation, architects, and construction teams were instrumental in seamlessly integrating the central donor display into the lobby design. The display both embraced and enhanced the beauty of the space.

Full view of the donor recognition wall created by PDG for CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital.

  1. Functional Adaptability: Beyond the initial goal of recognizing campaign donors, the project evolved to accommodate future acknowledgments of ongoing annual and cumulative giving. The design was intentionally crafted to grow over time, supporting the Foundation's fundraising efforts for years to come.
  1. Expansion and Enhancement: The successful planning for the donor wall's design adaptability became evident with recent additions, including three new panels dedicated to planned giving, cumulative giving, and annual giving. The recognition system extends beyond the lobby, incorporating the accompanying plaque system that uses the same design language and materials as the donor wall to connect the visual theme across the facility.

Donor-named plaque system created by PDG for CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital.

  1. Creating a Sense of Place: Placemaking in donor recognition aims to create a meaningful and purposeful space that acknowledges and celebrates donors. It should foster a sense of connection, pride, and engagement within a community. The entire designed environment should connect with the community and its culture. Donor recognition is emotional, and placemaking helps donors and visitors make that emotional connection with your cause and your organization's culture of philanthropy. Connecting donors to their community gives more meaning to their gift. Once that connection is established, their relationship with your organization can last a lifetime.

Success and Impact:

The team at CHRISTUS Spohn was delighted with the final outcome, as it was much more than they could have imagined during our initial conversations. The integration of the minimalist artwork, capturing the essence of Corpus Christi's surroundings, not only enhances the lobby's aesthetic but also provides a meaningful backdrop for current campaign recognition content.

The project balances functionality and artistic expression, creating an immersive experience that resonates with donors and the CHRISTUS Spohn community. In a hospital setting, people often feel emotionally overwhelmed, uneasy, and stressed. With that in mind, creating a donor wall that instilled a sense of calm and tranquility became a priority.

Over the shoulder view of two women viewing the donor recognition wall created by PDG for CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital.

The place-immersive, environmental design, inspired by the hospital’s location on Texas' beautiful southern Gulf shoreline, seemed like a perfect choice for the backdrop. Printed graphics, glass, and wood framing provide the surround, which adds the viewer's reflection, as though walking on the beach, and completes the immersive experience.

This donor recognition system is as much a work of art as a purposeful display, fostering a sense of place while duly acknowledging its generous donors and accommodating future growth and expansion. It exemplifies the intersection of art, functionality, and future-focused planning, leaving a lasting impression on visitors and donors while contributing to the hospital's continued fundraising success.

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