Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU Trustee Troy Woodruff makes $200,000 in gifts to the university

December 9, 2021

Indiana State University trustee Troy Woodruff, his wife Melissa, and his company RQAW have made gifts to the university totaling $200,000 for cancer research and an engineering scholarship.

Woodruff was appointed to ISU’s Board of Trustees by Gov. Eric Holcomb in 2021. He is a 1998 graduate of Indiana State with a degree in communications studies and a minor in marketing.

“We are grateful to Trustee Woodruff and his wife Melissa for their tremendous generosity in support of cancer research and civil engineering technology at Indiana State University,” ISU President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis said. “We have bright students working on breakthroughs in cancer research and in filling the state’s need for civil engineers. This gift will help them achieve their goals.”

One of the gifts is for $100,000 from Troy and Melissa Woodruff to ISU’s Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center.

“My wife, Melissa, and I have known so many people that have been impacted by cancer, not just in our own family but so many others,” Troy Woodruff said. “I lost my father to cancer three years ago, and making this gift in his honor is about the hope of finding the next breakthrough in cancer so that someone else doesn’t have to experience the loss of a loved one or friend.”

In recognition of this gift, ISU’s Board of Trustees approved the naming of the Benny E. Woodruff Research Lab in honor of Troy’s father, who passed away from cancer on December 4, 2018.

“Our hope is that eventually there will be a cure for cancer, and that the next breakthrough comes from the work of Porter Research Fellows at Indiana State,” Woodruff said. 

The Woodruffs’ gift helps to sustain five internationally competitive graduate fellowships housed in the Porter Cancer Research Center,

“Successful cancer research requires us to both recruit and train the best and brightest budding researchers from around the globe and to provide them with state-of-the-art research facilities that will allow them to pursue their fight against cancer,” said Dr. Shaad Ahmad, Porter Cancer Research Center Director and Assistant Professor of Biology.

“The Benny E. Woodruff Research Lab supported by the naming gift from Troy and Melissa Woodruff achieves this latter goal—providing an essential core research facility critical for the success of Center investigators and Fellows, as well as other researchers at Indiana State University.”

The other gift is from RQAW, an Indianapolis-based engineering and architecture services firm where Woodruff is President and CEO. The company has committed $100,000 to establish the RQAW Civil Engineering Endowed Scholarship at ISU. The gift advances the company’s commitment to building the pipeline of professional engineers in the state of Indiana. 

“Currently, there is a real shortage of professional engineers in the state of Indiana, not just at RQAW but with companies all over the state,” Woodruff said. “We must be producing not only highly-skilled engineers, but we need to keep them in the state of Indiana,”

RQAW specializes in services relating to architecture, engineering, construction inspection, transportation, environmental services, and water infrastructure.

The RQAW Civil Engineering Endowed Scholarship will be available to ISU students studying civil engineering technology and engineering with civil concentration beginning with the 2022-23 academic year. Recipients of the scholarship will have the opportunity to interview for internships with RQAW.

“RQAW recognizes we need to do more to advance STEM in Indiana,” Woodruff said. “Indiana State University is perfectly positioned to help meet that need by identifying, training, and graduating students who are highly skilled engineers. ISU is a key piece to help solve this shortage not just for us, but for the greater workforce in Indiana.”

In recognition of RQAW’s gift, ISU’s Board of Trustees approved the naming of the RQAW Engineering Classroom in the Myers Technology Center.

Photo of Troy Woodruff

Media contacts: 

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication 

(O) 812-237-3837 

(C) 812-229-8020

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131