Bertha & Karl Koehler Athletic Scholarship

The Bertha and Karl Koehler Scholarship is for a female student athlete with a GPA of 3.0 or greater and has financial need.


1. Each recipient must be an undergraduate woman student athlete enrolled full-time (minimum 12 credit hours) at Winona State University
2. Each recipient must be classified as a junior and be in good standing at Winona State University with a minimum grade point average (g.p.a.) of 3.0 (4.0=A)
3. Each recipient must be have earned a letter in and be a starter and/or active member of one of the Winona State University woman’s intercollegiate teams.


Bertha and Karl Koehler immigrated to the United States from Hamburg, Germany in 1926. Karl Koehler was educated to become a teacher in Germany. He was a proof reader and retired from the Peerless Chain Company in 1965. He died in 1968. He was an outstanding athlete in Germany and won many awards in soccer and track.

Bertha Koehler was a trained seamstress and homemaker. She loved to travel and make people laugh. She died in 1989. They had five children born in Winona: Anne, Wilma, Carl, George and Gretchen.

Gretchen Koehler graduated WSU in 1965 with a major in physical education and was the first woman student/athlete to be inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986. Gretchen played all sports but excelled in tennis with numerous awards and rankings during her playing career. She won collegiate singles tennis titles in 1961 and 1965 and was the 1975 Minnesota State Badminton Champion.

Gretchen first taught school in Davenport, Iowa where she coached synchronized swimming and golf. During the 1967-68 school year, Gretchen was a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa before becoming a physical education instructor and coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota in the fall of 1968. At Gustavus she coached basketball, tennis, softball, and volleyball.

Gretchen finished her advanced degrees: Master of Science and Doctor of Education in physical education at Brigham Young University in 1973 and 1978. She is currently a Professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Gustavus Adolphus College.

She recently retired from coaching and continues to be interested in the history of sport, woman in sport, the Olympics and the mind/body connection in healing. She has authored articles, relaxation tapes and sport poetry and is an avid antique collector and carpenter. She lives in a home she designed and helped build in St. Peter

Bertha & Karl Koehler Scholarship
Athletics Department
Supplemental Questions
  1. Have you earned a letter in and are you a starter and/or active member on one of WSU's Women's Intercollegiate Sports Teams?