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McPherson College Announces “Wheels of Change: How the Automobile Shaped Our Lives”

Ken Yohn

Ken Yohn, chair of McPherson College’s Department of History and Politics, will serve as host and instructor for the six webinars.

McPherson College, the only college in America offering a four-year bachelor’s degree program in automotive restoration technology, announces the launch of a webinar series called “Wheels of Change: How the Car Automobile Shaped Our Lives.” This six-week summer series focuses on the people, innovations, and the art that helped shape the automotive industry and will feature car-world insiders from around the country.

The first webinar is June 25 at 12 p.m. CDT, with the topic, Four Epic Road Trips that Upended the World. Space is limited, so each week’s webinar will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Online registration is on the college website.

McPherson College’s automotive restoration program started in 1976 and has become a nationally recognized and award-winning leader in automotive education. The program offers students experience outside of the classroom at some of the most prestigious car events, with 85% of students participating in internships at museums, private collections, and shops across the United States and Germany over the past five years. These institutions include Hagerty, Mercedes-Benz Classic Center, Rad Rides by Troy, and RM Sotheby’s, among others.

“Wheels of Change will spotlight our college’s uniqueness as a leader in the auto industry, while providing participants dynamic conversation with special guests,” said Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for automotive restoration at McPherson College. “Professor Yohn is well-known for his knowledgeable, engaging, and fun instruction on the evolution of the automobile and its impact on our social and cultural development.”

Yohn, chair of McPherson College’s Department of History and Politics, will serve as host and instructor for the six webinars. For more than 20 years, Professor Yohn has taught courses on the social history of the automobile at McPherson College and has led student study trips to Europe and South America. His next teaching adventure is a “Cars and Castles” tour of Europe.

“Everyone knows that automobiles completely changed how we live life, but not too many people realize just how many areas of our lives were revolutionized by four wheels and an engine,” said Yohn. “And thanks to our alumni and McPherson’s extensive industry connections, we will have expert guests from all parts of the industry help me unpack it all.”

“Wheels of Change” will cover a wide variety of topics, including how the automobile liberated women, the creation of mega auto corporations, and how the former General Motors executive Harley Earl revolutionized and democratized automotive designs. The full schedule can be found here.