Spencer & Judy Munkel Math & Stats Scholarship

The Judy and Spencer Munkel Math and Stats Scholarship is created to encourage and support students who have declared a major in Math and Statistics at WSU. The student must demonstrate ability and promise in his/her chosen major. The student must also demonstrate financial need, which will be determined by the Department Scholarship Committee (financial need is NOT to be based on FAFSA report).


1. Each recipient must be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time at Winona State University
2. Each recipient must be classified as a junior and be in good standing at Winona
3. Each recipient must be a declared major in Math or Statistics or Math Education.
4. Each recipient must maintain a minimum grade point average (g.p.a.) of 3.0 (4.0=A)
5. Each recipient must have demonstrated ability and promise in his/her chosen major.
6. Each recipient must demonstrate financial need, which will be determined by the Department Scholarship Committee (Financial need is NOT based on FAFSA report).
7. Each student must be a US citizen, a resident of MN, and a MN high school graduate.
8. This scholarship MAY be renewable for one consecutive year, IF FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE, and the recipient continues to meet the original qualifications and maintains a grade point average of 3.0.


Spencer Gaynor Munkel, a native of Spring Grove, Minnesota, met his future wife, Judy Ann Malmin of Savage, Minnesota, in 1963, while both were attending Winona State University. While at Winona State, Spencer and Judy were actively involved in organizations that promoted academic achievement and serving the community, including Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Xi Delta sorority.

In spring 1965, Spencer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in math and a minor in physics and began teaching junior high math in Madison, WI. Judy graduated two years later with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Judy started her teaching career in Waseca, MN, where she taught for two years. In 1969, Spencer earned an M.S. degree in education, with an emphasis on Math, from Mankato State University. Judy pursued graduate courses at Winona State and the University of Minnesota and completed her master’s equivalency in 1987.

The couple married in 1969 as Spencer started his career at IBM in Rochester and Judy began teaching in the Rochester Public Schools. Spencer retired from IBM after 23 years of service and later served as an account executive for the Dean Witter investment firm for two years before settling into full-time retirement. Judy retired from teaching in 2001, after dedicating 34 years to educating students. She continues to substitute teach and volunteer in Rochester.

In 1992, the Munkels established their first scholarship through the WSU Foundation benefiting students majoring in Math and Statistics or Elementary Education – The Judy and Spencer Munkel Scholarship (#196). In August 2008 the scholarship was renamed and amended to become the Judy and Spencer Munkel Elementary Education Scholarship. In March 2011, The Judy and Spencer Munkel Elementary Education Scholarship was further updated and amended.

In 2000, the Munkels created a second scholarship, providing support for graduates of Spring Grove High School in Minnesota – The Spencer and Judy Munkel Spring Grove Scholarship (#1006). In August 2008, the Judy and Spencer Munkel Spring Grove Scholarship was renamed and amended to become the Spencer and Judy Munkel Math Scholarship. In March 2011, The Spencer and Judy Munkel Math Scholarship was further updated and amended.

The Munkels are charter members of the 1858 Founders Society, which recognizes individuals who have made provisions for WSU in their wills. In 2006, the Munkels were honored for their ongoing support and inducted into the Foundation’s Cornerstone Society.

Spencer and Judy (Malmin) Munkel met by chance at Winona State in 1963 while both were students. Their relationship and their connection to Winona State has thrived over the years. Spencer grew up in Spring Grove and came to WSU because his older brother graduated from WSU. Spencer was comfortable with the small campus feel and the friendly atmosphere where many long lasting friendships first started. Judy grew up in Savage and came to WSU because she had relatives who lived in Winona, and her parents suggested a small campus not too far from home.

Throughout their careers, Spencer and Judy maintained many of the friendships established while at Winona State and kept ties to the institution that helped them find each other. “We both felt that the WSU experience totally prepared us to be successful in whatever career choices we made after graduating from Winona State.”

Reminiscing about Winona State in the 1960s, Judy and Spencer fondly remember McVey’s Ice Cream Parlor, study breaks at the Country Kitchen , various dances, Homecoming activities, trips downtown to the Garden Gate for SUPER cinnamon rolls, playing cards and interaction with various WSU staff.

In the early 1990s, the Munkels decided to formally recognize and honor their connection to Winona State University by establishing the Judy and Spencer Munkel Scholarship Fund through the WSU Foundation. “While at Winona State, I received a scholarship that helped me,” Spencer said. “Judy and I decided we were at a point in our lives where we could do something to help others.” Through additional gifts of their own and the benefit of the IBM employees matching gifts program, the Munkels’ scholarship funds have grown significantly and have helped many WSU students achieve their educational goals.

“By making gifts to support WSU students, we know we are doing something for those who will come after us,” Spencer and Judy said. “We are pleased to leave a legacy to support causes we value. Our hope is that many of the students who receive scholarships at Winona State University will eventually establish their own scholarship awards to help future students.”

One of the added benefits for Spencer and Judy of their scholarship programs at Winona State is the opportunity to visit with the students who receive their scholarships and their parents at the annual Scholarship Recognition Breakfast held each fall. “Since we know how hectic it can get around mid terms we like to send our scholarship recipients some money to take a break, relax and go out for pizza, a movie and ice cream.”

“We look forward to coming to campus, seeing the changes and improvements, and especially meeting the students and their parents,” Judy said. “Winona State University has become a much bigger part of out lives as we get older, and we are excited to be able to help WSU students make a positive difference in their lives.”

Spencer & Judy Munkel Scholarship
College of Science & Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics Department