WKU Sisterhood offers $30,000 for university improvement projects

Stephanie Jessie

The WKU Sisterhood, founded in 2009 by a group of women with a passion for the university, follows a principle to make a difference in the WKU community.

Their mission, aligned with WKU’s, is to prepare all students to be productive, engaged and responsible members of society. One way they honor their mission is by awarding a grant of up to $30,000 to anyone with an idea for a project to improve WKU.

“Anyone can apply as long as the project positively impacts the university,” Sisterhood member Amy Miller said. 

Miller is also the director of development for the Gordon Ford College of Business.

Last year’s winners were Textbooks for Troops, a program providing free textbooks for troops, and GET SET GO, a wellness program that works to promote a healthier, more active lifestyle for children in grades K-8. Both received checks for $20,000, respectively, to be put toward improving and obtaining new materials to better their individual services.

The application requires in-depth descriptions of how the money will be spent, who the project affects and how the project will impact the university in the long term.

From there, five finalists will be chosen to present their project proposals at the annual Sisterhood meeting in October. Each voting member is allotted one vote to put toward the project they believe deserves a grant the most.

The money is available for the winner to begin their projects immediately, Miller said. The winner is required to attend the 2015 meeting to update Sisterhood members on the status of their project.

“The Sisterhood is a very special group of loyal women pooling their resources to make a difference at WKU,” Julie Ransdell, Sisterhood co-chair, stated on the organization’s website. “Together we choose a different project each year—a bigger project than we would likely be able to do by ourselves.”

Members each donate a gift of $1,000 or more to be used toward the grant and ensure membership, which is put into a restricted fund to be used toward the yearly grant. They must continue donating the same amount every year if they wish to be involved.

“Some pay monthly through TopNet, some have endowed it and some women have it as part of their estate,” Miller said. 

Any woman affiliated with WKU, alumna, friend, faculty, staff or student, can attend the October meeting, but their votes would not be included in the final decision if they have not made the $1,000 donation.

For more information on joining the Sisterhood or for application information, visit www.wku.edu/sisterhood. All applications must be submitted electronically. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 12.