WKU Sisterhood grants $32,900 for multimedia equipment

Students working at WKU Student Publications will soon have access to an array of audio and visual equipment after the WKU Sisterhood, a group of women with a passion for the Hill, awarded a $32,900 impact grant to the program.

Student Publications was one of five finalists for grants from the Sisterhood, which is comprised of more than 100 women who each donate at least $1,000 a year and invite WKU programs to seek funding for initiatives they could not otherwise afford.

The Student Publications proposal was pitched to the Sisterhood during its annual luncheon by Debra Murray, current co-editor and incoming editor-in-chief of the College Heights Herald; Leah Hunter, executive editor of Talisman; Cristina Betz, director of Cherry Creative; Grace Stephens, video producer for the Herald; and Tucker Covey, photo editor of the Herald. The Sisterhood ranked their proposal for funding at the full amount requested.

“The generosity of the women in the WKU Sisterhood will allow us to bring our visual and audio equipment into the modern age, and let out students gain the kind of experience that will help them land jobs once they graduate,” said Chuck Clark, director of WKU Student Publications. “This will allow us to move into the new industry standard for mirrorless camera technology and will greatly increase our students’ access to equipment many of them cannot afford on their own.”

Currently, the newest of the four camera bodies in the Student Publications equipment closet is at least six years old. Some of the older camera bodies and lenses frequently break from heavy use.

With the Sisterhood grant, Student Publications will be able to buy:

  • Three mirrorless camera bodies and accessories
  • Five lenses and accessories
  • Video equipment including microphones, stabilizers and other accessories.
  • Lighting equipment
  • Memory cards
  • Asset tags for an improved inventory and loan-out system

“None of this is equipment we could have even dreamed of buying without the generosity of private support from the Sisterhood,” Clark said.

The grant to Student Publications was one of five the WKU Sisterhood awarded on Nov. 18, totaling $96,057.

“I always say the Sisterhood is the best thing I’ve ever done, and it is truly the best $1,000 I can spend,” said Julie Harris Hinson (’90), Sisterhood Co-Founding Member and outgoing Chair. “Being part of this group is the gift that keeps on giving. I love seeing the true impact of the grants we award when the recipients come back to share how they were able to use the funding.

Julie Harris Hinson at the 71st Student Publications Homecoming Breakfast on Oct. 29, 2022.

“I will always be a member of this group,” Hinson added in a news release. “You get to be with fellow like-minded alumnae and friends who want to collaborate to raise funds for the University. One of us can do $1,000 on our own, but 50 of us can do $50,000 and 100 can do $100,000. The impact we can have together is truly astounding…”

Hinson also is the benefactor who created the Julie Harris Hinson Opportunity Fund at Student Publications, which generates proceeds that allow us to help Student Publications staffers who find themselves facing one-time financial hurdles. The Hinson Opportunity Fund currently generates about $1,000 a year that can be used to help students in need.