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Miller/Junker Family Music Scholarship extended

Christine Miller Junker (’87 B.S. Music Ed, ’91 M.B.A.) and Philip Junker have made a significant financial contribution to the Miller/Junker Family Music Scholarship in the Penn State School of Music.

The gift will endow the scholarship, originally established in 2015, which is available for full-time undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Music who have a demonstrated financial need, with first preference given to students whose primary instrument is the clarinet or a woodwind instrument.

The decision by the Junkers to endow the scholarship came after receiving overwhelmingly positive responses from the initial recipients of the scholarship as well as the deepening family ties to the University. Christine played clarinet in the Blue Band and several other performance organizations at Penn State and her son, Matthew, is a freshman trombone player in the Blue Band.

“When we established the family scholarship, the thinking was that Penn State is number one in so many areas and we wanted to be a part of that in the School of Music,” Christine Junker said. “The idea was to attract the best young music students to Penn State and I hope this extension will continue to make Penn State a reality for those who are in financial need.”

After each scholarship is awarded, the recipient has an opportunity to write to the donor and offer a personal account of how the funds have affected their educational experience at Penn State. The letters the Junkers received offered validation of the scholarship’s original intent, but also emotionally connected with the family.

“It really struck me how grateful these students were and to hear their stories was not just gratifying, it also solidified with us that we are doing the right thing,” Junker said. “These students really did have an earnest need to pay for their education and it brought a whole new aspect to our giving. It made it so much more meaningful and we are beyond excited to continue this scholarship into the future.”

This gift will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit