Iconic Bowman Gray Statue Moving to New Home

by staff

The statue of Bowman Gray, the man recognized for bringing Wake Forest School of Medicine to Winston-Salem, will be moved from its current location in front of the School of Medicine on Hawthorne Road to its new home at the future Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The move will occur at approximately 10:00 a.m., Saturday, June 25.

bowman gray statue
bowman gray statue

The bronze statue was crafted by local artisan Earline Heath King in 2001. It was dedicated during a ceremony in 2002, as part of a yearlong celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary.

Gray was the benefactor whose bequest of $750,000 (worth more than $12 million in today’s money) made possible the medical school’s move to Winston-Salem in 1941. At that time, the school expanded from a two-year program to a four-year medical school and affiliated with North Carolina Baptist Hospital, which later became Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Additional information on the Bowman Gray statue:

* King, who died in 2011, spent more than a year crafting the bronze statue.
* The statue is 6 feet tall, which is slightly larger than life.
* Including the base, the statue stands 9 feet 6 inches tall.
* Gray almost always wore a hat in public, but King liked his “part-in-the-middle” hairstyle so much, she put his hat in his hand so his hair is visible.

Earline Heath King crafting the Bowman Gray Statue (photo courtesy digital forsyth)
Earline Heath King crafting the Bowman Gray Statue (photo courtesy digital forsyth)

The Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education – located in the renovated former 60 series R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company complex – is scheduled to open in mid-July.