The town that grew up around the college came to be called the town of Wake Forest.
In 1862, during the American Civil War, the school closed due to the loss of most students and some faculty to service in the Confederate States Army.
The college re-opened in 1866 and prospered over the next four decades under the leadership of presidents Washington Manly Wingate, Thomas H. In 1894, the School of Law was established, followed by the School of Medicine in 1902.
The university held its first summer session in 1921.
The university also occupies lab space at Biotech Plaza at Innovation Quarter, and at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials. News & World Report America's Best Colleges report, Wake Forest ranked tied for 10th in terms of "Best Undergraduate Teaching" in the U. and tied for 27th overall among national universities.
The University's Graduate School of Management maintains a presence on the main campus in Winston-Salem and in Charlotte, North Carolina. Notable people of Wake Forest University include author Maya Angelou, mathematician Phillip Griffiths, Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan, athletes Chris Paul, Tim Duncan, Muggsy Bogues, Brian Piccolo and Arnold Palmer, and CEO Charlie Ergen.
He also stirred upheaval among North Carolina Baptists with his strong support of teaching the theory of evolution but eventually won formal support from the Baptist State Convention for academic freedom at the college. Reynolds) donated to the college about 350 acres (1.4 km The old campus in Wake Forest was sold to the Baptist State Convention to establish the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The School of Medicine moved to Winston-Salem (then North Carolina's second-largest city) in 1941 under the supervision of Dean Coy Cornelius Carpenter, who guided the school through the transition from a two-year to a four-year program. On April 27, 1962, Wake Forest's Board of Trustees voted to accept Edward Reynolds, a native of the African nation of Ghana, as the first black full-time undergraduate at the school.
The school then became the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. This made Wake Forest the first major private university in the South to desegregate.
The following year, 1942, Wake Forest admitted its first female undergraduate students, after World War II dramatically depleted the pool of male students. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the entire college agreed to move to Winston-Salem, a move that was completed for the beginning of the fall 1956 term, under the leadership of Dr. Reynolds, a transfer student from Shaw University, later became the first black graduate of the university in 1964, when he earned a bachelor's degree in history. He became a professor of history at the University of California, San Diego and author of several history books.
Lea Laboratory was built in 1887-1888, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.