WKU Sisterhood awards four grants to university initiatives


Members of WKU Sisterhood traveled from Louisville to donate clothes to the PEAK Professional Clothes Closet at their annual meeting Friday, Nov. 16.

Genesis Malone, News reporter

WKU Sisterhood, a group based on philanthropic engagement, awarded over $80,000 in grants to fund university initiatives for 2021. 

The WKU Sisterhood, chaired by Julie Harris Hinson, is an organization of women advancing university priorities through philanthropy and community outreach. Established in 2009, the Sisterhood awarded its first grants in 2010. Since then more than $560,000 have been awarded to the University community. 

“I always say I don’t give, I give back to WKU. However, the Sisterhood to me is the gift that keeps on giving. Although the funds stay within the WKU community, the benefits extend beyond the WKU campus,” said Hinson. 


The WKU Sisterhood is a group of women who collectively pool their resources to practice philanthropy by awarding grants to deserving WKU affiliated organizations. 

Hinson said the Sisterhood awarding two larger grants and two smaller grants is something new.

“The Sisterhood has had applicants apply for various sums of money, it was felt that this would encourage more applications. As a result, it did,” Hinson said. 

The first grant was given for a film student equipment van. The van will offer a reliable, cost-free way for students in the film program to transport their equipment to and from on-location filming.

Sara Thomason, assistant film professor said the film department is extremely grateful to the WKU Sisterhood for awarding the impact grants. 

“Many of our students don’t have access to reliable transportation—or transportation at all—to get equipment to and from their filming locations,” Thomason said. 

The second grant, the Lifeworks scholarship program will allow four young women with autism the opportunity to gain independent living and career-readiness skills to successfully transition to leading lives of independence, self-direction and employment. 

The two smaller grants given out were the MCAT Prep Advantage Program which will prepare students from rural or underserved areas to enter medical school. 

Lastly, $10,000 was awarded to Why Knot Us Too, a program set to improve the mental, emotional, environmental and academic success of women of color who are WKU students. 

Intercultural Student Engagement Center Associate Director, Cres’Sena Thomas said the grant will allow the financial support to get the program started. 

”The support will also allow us to cater to our students in ways we may not have been able to without having the grant,” Thomas said. 

News reporter Genesis Malone can be reached at [email protected]