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Student Receives First Ever Denise McCluggage Scholarship

A scholarship honoring the legendary female racecar driver, journalist, author, and photographer Denise McCluggage was presented for the first time ever at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to McPherson College senior Emma Critz during the gala dinner on March 9.

Critz was selected for the inaugural scholarship out of the automotive restoration program; however, the scholarship will be available to all women at McPherson College with interests similar to McCluggage’s such as journalism, art, photography.

“I’m honored to have been selected for the scholarship,” Critz said. “Denise McCluggage was such an interesting person and I was so surprised when my name was announced as the recipient. It is definitely the highlight of my time at McPherson College.”

When McCluggage passed away in 2015 she left instructions to develop a scholarship in her name that would encourage other women to pursue their dreams. The initial funding for the scholarship was provided by the Santa Fe Concorso and it was developed this year as a senior capstone project by Abigayle Morgan, a senior majoring in automotive restoration with a minor in communication. Morgan had the opportunity to introduce the scholarship and announce this year’s recipient at the Amelia Island event.

“Being in a room full of longtime friends and competitors of Denise McCluggage was an awesome experience,” she said. “I was thrilled with the amount of support people expressed to me for the scholarship.”

Morgan is leading a fundraising campaign to guarantee that funds will be available to support women at McPherson College through the McCluggage Scholarship. For more information about the scholarship, please go to