Scholarship Recipients Help Others Achieve By Giving Back
In 2005, the couple established the Eugene and Nancy Winkler Scholarship to help students who are education majors or have parents that are teachers succeed in their educational journey.
"We'll need teachers forever," said Nancy Winkler ('63 and '90 MSE), a Wisconsin State College (now UW Oshkosh) graduate who was a physical education and mental health teacher in both the Kiel and Oshkosh school districts in the 1960s.
Nancy Winkler was the first in her family to attend college. She received a legislative scholarship for high school valedictorians, Mishicot Alumni Scholarship and the Rowland Scholarship for women in physical education, which supported her pursuit of a college education. And, she earned her degree in just three years.
Eugene Winkler '59, also a teacher and first-generation college student, earned his degree in secondary education from Wisconsin State College in 1959 and also taught in Kiel and then at Oshkosh West High School. His education, he said, was funded by the GI Bill.
"That's one of the reasons I like the idea of giving back," said Eugene Winkler, who also taught at UW Oshkosh as an ad hoc economics professor from 1990 to 1996. "I got public, government money and it made it easier for me."
And, making it easier for other students is the goal of their scholarship fund, the Winklers say.
"If we want to get ahead as a world, people need an education and those of us who can give should," Nancy Winkler said. "I was always brought up knowing that if you were given something, you give back. Spend your money on things that will help the world."
While the Winklers are helping others attend school through scholarship funds, they are also watching one of their own, their grandson, excel as a freshman at UW Oshkosh this academic year.
"UW Oshkosh is a wonderful place for him to be, it's a wonderful campus," Nancy Winkler said.
Nancy Winkler added: "We didn't have a lot of children – just two – so the scholarship is a way to help these other people that are "our" children, whether know them or not."