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    Morehouse School of Medicine Mourns Loss of a Founder

    Atlanta - One of Morehouse School of Medicine's (MSM) esteemed founders and the former President of Talladega College Dr. Joseph N.W. Gayles Jr., died October 2. He was 71.

    Contact: Cherie Richardson / 404.752.1917 /

    Atlanta - One of Morehouse School of Medicine's (MSM) esteemed founders and the former President of Talladega College Dr. Joseph N.W. Gayles Jr., died October 2. He was 71.

    A talented scientist and academician, Gayles had many accomplishments during his distinguished career. He will be most remembered, however, as an MSM visionary.

    Concerned with the dearth of minority physicians in Georgia, in 1971 the late Dr. Hugh M. Gloster, then president of Morehouse College, called upon Gayles, a chemistry professor at the college, to lead a feasibility study to investigate the viability of a Medical Education program at the college. The study's findings resulted in federal funding to support the planning and development of the program.

    "I consider Joe Gayles one of the founding administrators of Morehouse School of Medicine," said Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, who was founding dean and president of MSM. "Gayles was strongly committed to the concept," Sullivan said. "He staffed the entire process and drove the project forward."

    After leading the study team, Sullivan appointed Gayles to serve as deputy director of the Medical Education program. He also was a member of the school's board of overseers (which eventually became the board of trustees). After spending six years as president of Talladega, he returned to MSM as vice president of Institutional Advancement until 1996. Gayles would later start his own consulting firm specializing in fundraising.

    "Gayles was instrumental in leading our school through a successful capital campaign," said Dr. John E. Maupin Jr., president of MSM. "The contributions funded the construction of the Medical Education Building and recruitment of clinical chairs, which led to our transition from a two-year program to a four-year school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education," Maupin said. "He was a leader in the advancement field and a major advocate for the inclusion of minorities and women in the fundraising departments of academic institutions."

    Gayles earned a bachelor's degree from Dillard University in New Orleans and his doctorate from Brown University. In 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from MSM.

    The funeral services will be held Wednesday, October 8 at 11 a.m. at Cascade United Methodist Church. Murray Brothers Funeral Home of Atlanta is in charge of arrangements.

    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Georgia, was founded in 1975 as the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College. In 1981 Morehouse School of Medicine became an independently chartered institution and the first minority medical school established at a Historically Black College and University in the 20th century. MSM is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians. Our faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, and are known in the community for exceptional, culturally appropriate patient care. For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at

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