Wake Forest Baptist Receives More Than $5 Million to Invest in Chairs, Professorships and Endowed Faculty Scholars

September 18, 2015

Four donors have provided gifts totaling $5.13 million to invest in chairs, professorships and endowed faculty scholars at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The donors and their gifts, which were received during the past 12 months, include:

  • The McMichael Family Foundation, $1.5 million to establish a professorship in oncology
  • An anonymous donor, $1.5 million to establish an endowed faculty scholar position in aging and Alzheimer’s disease
  • James W. Johnston and the Johnston Family Foundation, $1.13 million to establish a professorship in diabetes and obesity, and
  • The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation, $1 million to establish a professorship in cancer research.

Chairs and professorships are established to recognize the achievements of exceptional faculty members, and the positions are reviewed every five years.

Endowed faculty scholars are presented as three-year awards, with recipients retaining the title after a new recipient is selected to receive support from the fund. One primary function of endowed faculty scholars is to recruit outstanding candidates to Wake Forest Baptist.

Gifts for chairs, professorships and endowed faculty scholars can be made to any academic area designated by the donor.

“These kinds of gifts are among the most important to academic medicine,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. “They provide critical resources and time for research, education and patient care. These gifts will allow us to retain and attract outstanding research faculty, to achieve advances in treatment and science, and to help prepare the health care leaders of the future.”

“We are deeply grateful for these gifts and for the trust these donors have placed in our Medical Center,” said Norman D. Potter, Wake Forest Baptist’s vice president of development and alumni affairs. “The faculty who will hold these positions will contribute directly to our mission, to improve health. It is immensely gratifying to see people embrace that mission, as these donors have, and give to support it.”

Longtime benefactors of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the McMichael Family Foundation, based in Madison, N.C. and founded in 1992, supports causes related to children, education and recreation.

Johnston, a resident of Mooresville, N.C., is president and chief executive officer of Stonemarker Enterprises Inc., a consulting and investment company, and formerly was chairman and chief executive officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. He has served on the Medical Center Board of Visitors since 1991 and Wake Forest University Health Sciences Board of Directors since 2011. He also has established a fund for neuroscience research at Wake Forest Baptist. He is a lifetime member of Wake Forest University’s Board of Trustees and has chaired the university’s investment committee, which oversees the endowment.

The John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation was established in 1947 by the couple’s children and grandchildren. The foundation's mission is to improve the lives of North Carolina citizens, with a distinct focus on Forsyth County.

Media Relations

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487

Shannon Putnam: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587