Shaping an academic medical center
It took 39 years before the two-year medical school founded in 1902 at Wake Forest College formed the partnership with N.C. Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem that defines the institution today.
The story of how and why the medical school at the college, in tiny Wake Forest, N.C., decided to relocate to Winston-Salem is a fascinating tale involving visionary leaders, a community minded family committed to improving health care in northwest North Carolina, and sheer will. And the medical school's move in 1941 paved the way for the rest of Wake Forest College to relocate 15 years later.
Today, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a thriving, nationally renowned academic medical center. With 14,000 employees, it is Forsyth County's largest employer. It operates more than 1,000 acute care, psychiatric and rehabilitation beds. The medical school is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's best, just as the hospital has been since 1993.
Through the links on this page, you can read the story of our early history, listen to members of the family whose efforts helped bring the medical school to Winston-Salem, and see archival images of the hospital and medical school over the decades.
Two members of the Gray family share on heritage
Lyons Gray, a former state representative from Forsyth County and the only family member from his generation to remain in Winston-Salem, and his cousin, James A. Gray III, the president of Wesleyan College, spent an afternoon talking about their family's role in the history of the medical school. View the Video.
Family with vision helped land a medical school in Winston-Salem
Read the full story of how the medical school, founded in 1902, wound up relocating from Wake Forest to Winston-Salem in 1941, foreshadowing the move of the rest of Wake Forest College 15 years later.
Archival photo history
The Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives, offers many insights into our institutional history. There you can find audio histories and other exhibits, as well as a remarkable virtual exhibit, "Footprints Over Time: A Building History of WFBMC."
A decade-by-decade glance at important dates in the history of the institution.