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Hammond native donates to create Indiana State University cancer research center

Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 22:12

Hammond native and his wife made a substantial donation to Indiana State University that will allow the state college in Terre Haute to create the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center.

Indiana State University heralded the gift as "a transformational boost to the university’s work on the disease."

“This is a visionary program that will put our university on the map nationally as a competitive graduate program in the field,” ISU president Deborah J. Curtis said. “We are so grateful for our alumnus Rich Porter and his wife Robin, who have been generous donors to ISU in the past and now have given us the means to advance our cancer research tremendously.”


Porter is a 1977 graduate of Indiana State University who went on the have a 40-year career in manufacturing. During his college years, he was a hurdler of the Sycamores track team.

“Cancer touches everyone in some shape or form during their life,” he said. “So it became our philanthropic passion.”


The Hammond native also serves as chair of the board of directors for the James Cancer Center at The Ohio State University.


His donation to Indiana State University will create a laboratory space on the second floor of ISU's Science Building and support five Rich and Robin Porter Research Fellows, graduate students who will focus on cancer research.


“Cancer will be cured one discovery at a time,” Porter said. "Our hope is that one of these discoveries will be made by a student from Indiana State University via the Rich and Robin Porter Cancer Research Center — whether that discovery takes place at Indiana State University or at some future point in these students' careers.”

Porter is president of TE-CO Manufacturing in Ohio and has previously worked for Kimball International, Rockwell International, and Ingersoll International. He has previously given to the college, including securing a $500,000 donation from Hurco Companies to the College of Technology and giving $25,000 to name the track and field conference room in honor of his coach, Bill Malloy.


The Porters' latest donation is "incredibly generous," said Christopher Olsen, dean of ISU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“Their passion for supporting cutting edge cancer research is inspiring, and hopefully leads to the great breakthrough that we all want,” Olsen said. “Their generosity will allow us to advance cancer research by recruiting top graduate students from around the world. Porter Research Fellows will have the financial support they need to work all year on cancer research in the lab, collaborating with our world-class faculty and pushing the boundaries of research at Indiana State University.”

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