Robert Hanes Gray taught law at Washington and Lee University during two periods of his life separated by several decades, and a myriad of career changes. After receiving his LL.B. from W&L in 1936, Gray taught economics in the commerce school during the 1936-1937 academic year. Though he became an instructor in law for the academic year 1937-1938 and an assistant professor of law for the period 1938-1941, Gray continued teaching classes in the commerce school attaining the rank of assistant professor in that school, as well. In the law school during this period, Gray taught Debtors’ Estates, Public Utilities, and Taxation.
Gray returned to the W&L School of Law faculty in the fall of 1963. By then he was a retired corporate attorney, and he insisted on donating his services as a lecturer in law without compensation or expense reimbursement. He offered instruction in International Business Transactions. This arrangement continued until 1966 when Gray was named Professor of Law. In this position Gray taught Creditors’ Rights, International Business Transactions, Local Government Law, Taxation, Agency, Business Organization and Management, Torts, Federal Corporation Law, Corporate Finance, Corporate Reorganizations, International Law, Security Regulations, and a Negotiations Seminar. He retired in 1974.
Robert Hanes Gray was born in Mount Hope, West Virginia in 1909. He attended the University of Arizona from 1927 to 1929, but received his B.S. degree from Washington and Lee University in 1931. In 1933 he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University. He attended Yale law school in 1933 before transferring to the Washington and Lee School of Law, earning his LL.B. diploma in 1936 when he was made a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif. He added the Master of Laws and the Doctor of Juridical Science degrees from Columbia University in 1941 and 1942 respectively. Following his first teaching stint at W&L, he was an assistant professor of law at the University of Louisville for 1941-1942. From 1942-1945 he was an attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City. After World War II Army service in the Pacific Theater in 1945 and 1946, Gray joined Bethlehem Steel Company. At Bethlehem he held the following offices: Tax Attorney, 1946-1953; Senior Assistant Comptroller, 1953-1955; and Director and Treasurer, foreign subsidiary companies and managing director of affiliated bank, 1956-1959.
After retiring from Bethlehem in 1959, Gray lived in the Bahamas during 1960 and 1961 where he served as Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Nassau and the Bahamas. During 1961-1962, he was a visiting scholar at Columbia University. Gray published law review articles and was the author of Law in Medical and Dental Practice.
In the early 1960's, Gray acquired and restored Locust Hill, a property on the border of Prince Edward County and the city of Appomattox, Virginia. It had been owned by his grandfather and included a Revolutionary War era farmhouse. Robert Hanes Gray died on November 17, 1985 in Lynchburg, Virginia.