In 1937, Robert Winship Woodruff, then president of The Coca-Cola Company, gave $50,000 to Emory University to start the Robert Winship Memorial Clinic. It was the first donation Woodruff ever made to Emory and was prompted by the anguish of losing his beloved mother, Emily Winship Woodruff, to cancer. Like so many of the people on these pages, Woodruff sought a way to turn his loss into a constructive action.
Because his mother had to travel to New York for treatment, Woodruff's mission was to bring together cancer physicians and researchers so that Georgians could access the best treatments available, without leaving the state. Establishing the new clinic, named in honor of Woodruff's grandfather, Robert Winship, launched a lifelong commitment to advancing cancer treatment. Winship's first director, Elliott Scarborough, led the Winship Clinic at a time when cancer was taboo to even talk about. He worked to educate the public about cancer and expand the Clinic to a state-of-the-art center capable of treating thousands of patients a year.
Thanks to Robert Woodruff and the on-going support of the Robert W. Woodruff Fund, Inc., Winship's stature and its service to the people of Georgia have continued to grow for the past 80 years.
Today, Winship is fulfilling Robert Woodruff's vision of a world-class cancer center, especially through its recent designation as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center.
Mr. Woodruff with his beloved mother, Emily Winship Woodruff.