in 1902, wake forest established a tradition of educating caring, highly skilled physician leaders. over time, the school expanded and grew in scope and reputation.

upon his unexpected death in 1935, bowman gray sr. left part of his fortune to be used for a “charitable endeavor” to help the people of winston-salem and the surrounding region. the money derived from the success of r.j. reynolds tobacco co., where gray served as president and chairman. his brother, wife and two sons would eventually decide to donate it to a medical school willing to relocate to winston-salem. wake forest college, then located in wake forest, n.c., eventually agreed to move its two-year medical school and expand it to a four-year curriculum, partnering with n.c. baptist hospital.

timeline of key events