The Dawn of a New Day 33
the Board of Trustees of Duke University and had seen firsthand what
a great tobacco fortune could accomplish if applied to the support of
an educational institution. Reynolds also seems to have felt keenly the
lack of a regular college for men in Winston-Salem. At that time the
city had only Salem College, the well-respected old Moravian school
for women, and Winston-Salem Teachers College, which was
exclusively for blacks in those days of a segregated society. Another
factor that made Wake Forest attractive to Reynolds was its Baptist
constituency, which could be counted upon as a statewide base of
enthusiasm and support in the mammoth undertaking of relocating a
The next recorded move in the events leading up to the proposal
was a 1944 conversation between Odus M. Mull of Shelby, a strong
supporter of Wake Forest and other Baptist institutions, and J. S.
Lynch, president of the Baptist Hospital Board, in which Mull
speculated on the possibility of obtaining at least a part of the
Reynolds Foundation's income for Wake Forest, then embarked on its
Enlargement Program. The gist of that conversation seems to have
been relayed to W. N. Reynolds.
C. J. Jackson, the campaign director always on the lookout for
sources of financial aid, also discussed the prospect of relocating
Wake Forest in Winston-Salem during confidential conversations
with a few close friends in Winston-Salem and Charlotte in the spring
of 1945.
These disparate ideas all came together at a Winston-Salem
luncheon on July 16, 1945, attended by, among others, Dr. Carpenter,
L. D. Long, and Gordon Gray, son of Bowman Gray, who was once
board chairman of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and a
benefactor of the Medical School. Gordon Gray, a man of distinction
in several fields, was then owner and publisher of the Winston-Salem
newspapers. After the luncheon Gray went immediately to a
conference with W. N. Reynolds, where the proposal to move Wake
Forest was put into concrete form. The Babcocks and other Reynolds
Foundation trustees were brought into the planning, and the offer was
first put in writing in a letter to C. J. Jackson dated February 27, 1946.
By that time the foundation trustees had all informally accepted the
idea, and Reynolds said in his letter that if the plan "meets with the
approval of the college authorities, and the requirements set out
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