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Woodruff Arts Center

Thursday, July 3, 2008 0 comments

Woodruff Art Center

Robert W. Woodruff (1889-1985) -- Woodruff was the Coca-Cola Company president, a philanthropist, and a leading Atlanta citizen for over half a century. He put Coca-Cola on the map worldwide; promoted civil rights; and gave over $400 million to Atlanta educational, artistic, civil, and medical projects, such as Emory University, the Woodruff Arts Center, and the High Museum.

Toward the end of his long life, Woodruff once commented on his project in south Georgia to eliminate the impact of malaria on farmers around his plantation, Ichauway. He did this, he said, not out of strictly humanitarian considerations but for more practical, even economic ends.
Woodruff became involved with Emory by funding his malaria project through the School of Medicine. That relationship began in 1929 and was followed in the next decade by the founding of the Winship Cancer Center, named for Woodruff’s maternal grandfather. In the years since, that seedling has flourished, and Woodruff’s many contributions to Emory have included scores of individual transactions much too long to list.

In 1966, thanks largely to Woodruff, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control opened on Clifton Road, next to Emory. The presence of the CDC was one reason why the American Cancer Society moved its headquarters to Atlanta and set up shop across the street. The CDC also made it possible for Emory, in 1990, to launch its first new school in fifty years, the Rollins School of Public Health.
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