The late Robert W. Woodruff would have taken special pleasure in today’s announcement that the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University had received a formal designation by the National Cancer Institute.
Woodruff, president and leader of the Coca-Cola Co. for decades, actually was the center’s “first benefactor,” according to Vicki Riedel, executive director of development for the Winship Cancer Institute.
“It was his first gift to Emory,” Riedel said.
Woodruff made the gift in honor of his mother, who died of cancer in 1937. Shortly thereafter, he founded the Robert Winship Memorial Clinic at Emory University in memory of this maternal grandfather, Robert Winship.
The institute opened more than 65 years ago with four staff members and treated 168 patients in its first year of operation.
Today, Winship treats more than 12,000 Georgians annually. And with the NCI designation, Winship will be able to have more clinical trials for Georgians with cancer.
The Woodruff Foundation has continued to support the Winship Cancer Institute through its various stages of progress.
And I learned today, that Robert W. Woodruff’s middle name was Winship.