With women making up 65 percent of the students at WKU, and half of the alumni, the WKU Sisterhood is a way for women to have an impact at the university.
The WKU Sisterhood, which began about a year ago, is a group of women who give at least $1,000 each, then collectively decide how that money will be used. “It is the perfect opportunity for women to pool their money and have a say in where that money will go,” Julie Ransdell said.
Ransdell, who is also the wife of WKU President Gary Ransdell, is the WKU Sisterhood co-chair along with Kristen Miller of Louisville. She said the WKU Sisterhood is a diverse group open to any woman who wants her gift to make a difference at WKU.
“The Sisterhood has a great vibe to it and is very, very contagious. We want everybody to be a part of it,” she said. “You don’t have to be a WKU graduate. We have WKU graduates; we have old people, young people, middle-aged people that really make the group a fun group.”
The group recently held a luncheon to pick the first recipient of an almost $38,000 award. The 20 applications were narrowed to five by a committee and each of the finalists delivered a presentation and answered questions before the group took a vote.
“It didn’t take long to make the final choice,” Ransdell said. “It was very dramatic when the announcement was made.”
The Women in Transition program, which assists non-traditional female students, will use the grant to improve the WIT meeting room at the WKU South Campus with new furniture and computers, provide scholarships and create a marketing and mentoring program.
Jennifer Howard, WIT co-adviser, said the grant will provide a revitalization.
“We had a lot of ideas, but we just didn’t have the money for it,” she said. “I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It was such an experience to think that we were worthy of such a great award.”
The WKU Sisterhood held receptions across the region to help spread the word and recruit new members.
“I’m actually hoping that in the future we will raise more money and possibly be able to give two or three large gifts,” Ransdell said. “I think the Sisterhood has great potential.”
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