Indiana State University Newsroom

Trustee and his wife make $100,000 gift to ISU’s Porter Cancer Center

December 14, 2021

Indiana State University Trustee Troy Woodruff and his wife, Melissa Woodruff, have given $100,000 in support of cancer research at the University’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.

“In the Center’s first year, we were able to attract and support five Porter Research Fellows to collaborate with ISU faculty and focus year-round on cancer research,” said Christopher Olsen, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The generosity of Troy and Melissa Woodruff continues to build the Porter Cancer Research Center and help the best and brightest minds to advance their research in the field.”

The Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center was created in 2020 from a philanthropic gift from the Center’s namesakes, Rich and Robin Porter. The Center is a catalyst for transforming the university into a premier training center for the next generation of cancer researchers.

“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.”

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. He currently serves as the President and CEO of Indianapolis-based engineering and architecture services firm RQAW.

Photo of Troy and Melissa 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