Julie Harris Hinson, a member of the WKU Board of Regents, has pledged endowments of $30,000 each to WKU Student Publications and the Cynthia and George Nichols III Intercultural Student Engagement Center, part of a gift of $110,000 over five years to WKU.
In an email, Hinson said she decided to give to the two programs because she has seen what financial assistance can do for students.
“Sometimes our students just need a little extra help,” Hinson stated. “A small monetary bridge may make the difference in a student’s ability to stay in school for a semester or buy groceries for the month.”
Chuck Clark, student publications director, said the endowment will provide financial help to students when needed — from paying to attend conferences to helping students with supplies for class. Clark said the money will likely be used for “microscholarships and microgrants.”
“This is the first time we’ve had a fund set up to provide money specifically for this purpose,” Clark said. “The really wonderful thing about this is this is money that will be there in perpetuity — it will be there every year.”
Clark said the endowment will generate revenue in the coming years. He expects a return of 3 to 4%.
“We will have a source of money every year that will allow us to help people a little bit along the way,” Clark said.
Rebekah Alvey, Herald editor-in-chief, released a statement about her thoughts on the endowment.
“Student Publications is a place to cultivate strong student journalism,” Alvey said. “It’s also a place to build connections and instill skills which create a stronger workforce. This endowment makes sure anyone who wants an opportunity to grow can have one and ensures Student Publications will continue to be a space open to all students.”
In addition to her gift to Student Publications, Hinson is pledging a donation to WKU’s Intercultural Student Engagement Center. ISEC provides educational services for students of color and LGBTQ students at WKU.
Martha Sales, ISEC executive director, said this is not the first time Hinson has donated to ISEC.
“Anytime a student needs something or [is] short on something I can call Julie, and she will send me a check or get it here quicker than right now,” Sales said.
Hinson said she admires the leadership of both Student Publications and ISEC.
“I respect the leadership styles of Chuck and Martha and how they work with students,” Harris said. “When they shared stories about their students’ needs, it drove my desire to help by supporting both their programs.”
Hinson, who was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2016, is a graduate of WKU from Owensboro and is president and CEO of Advanced Lifeline Respiratory Services, a healthcare provider in Louisville. She is a former president of the WKU National Alumni Association board of directors and a founding member of the WKU Sisterhood.
Reporter Jack Dobbs email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jackrdobbs.