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McPherson College Theatre announces new season

MC Theatre Season 2019-2020

The McPherson College theatre department announces its 2019-2020 theatre season, which includes a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to perform one of its productions internationally in January.

Last year the McPherson College theatre department celebrated 100 years of theatre at the college. It would be understandable if the department took a rest after those celebrations, but instead its focus is on the growth of the program for the next 100 years starting with many new productions for this season.

A one-night only performance for the McPherson area of “Speak Truth to Power” will celebrate the end of an international theatre tour that will take students and alumni to India. Dr. Herb Smith, professor of religion and philosophy, and Jd. Bowman, professor of theatre, will lead the tour group and stage the production in Kerala, India.

The 2019-2020 season is also built around the strengths of senior theatre students preparing their capstone productions this year. For his senior project in acting, J. Tanner Trigg takes on delicate subject matter in “The Christians,” Liz Thornton will showcase design and technical direction in “Outside Mullingar,” and Dani Wilcock’s special effect design will be featured in “Creepy! Creepy!”

This season’s theatre line-up features something for all tastes with premiere performances and one fan favorite.

  • August 29-31 – “The Christians,” by Lucas Hnath
  • October 4-5 & 11-12 – “Dearly Departed,” by Jessie Jones & David Botrell
  • November 21-23 – “Daddy Long Legs,” music & lyrics by Paul Gordon, book by John Caird, based on the novel by Jean Webster (Kansas premiere)
  • January 25, 2020 – “Speak Truth to Power,” by Ariel Dorfman, based on the book by Kerry Kennedy
  • February 17-21 – “Creepy! Creepy!” based on the books by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown (world premiere)
  • April 16-18 – “Outside Mullingar,” by John Patrick Shanley

First Nighters, the season ticket holder organization, continues with a themed meal before every production. For more information about how to become a season ticket holder, contact the McPherson College Theatre Box Office at (620) 242-0444.

AR Alumni Newsletter – June 2019

Morgan Joins Staff

Abigayle Morgan ’19, an auto restoration major and communications minor, has been hired as the coordinator of automotive restoration events. Some of her responsibilities include organizing and hosting numerous campus and off-campus events and activities. In this role she will partner to work on promotion and communications for the program, and some fundraising, especially related to the Denise McCluggage Scholarship for women. As a student, Abigayle interned at LeMay America’s Car Museum in Tacoma and at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She was an active member of the C.A.R.S. Club and managed show registration.

 


Car Show Recap

America’s love of the automobile is alive and well, and was on full display at McPherson College when it hosted the 20th Annual C.A.R.S. Motoring Festival on May 4. Read the full story here.
Here’s what others had to say about this year’s car show: AutoWeek and Hemmings Daily.


What Are Alumni Saying?

AR alumni are using podcasts to share their passion about cars with the world. John Viviani ’00 and Will Posey ’00 host No Driving Gloves, and Brett Hatfield ’05 hosts The Driven. Both shows recently featured the annual car show at McPherson College. Check out what they had to say:

College, Cars, and Castles

McPherson College faculty, students, and alumni will travel to The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and Switzerland exploring castles and car collections in January 2020. Although this travel opportunity is already full, watch for another European tour already in the the planning stages for 2022.

MotorWeek TV features AR Progam

McPherson College was featured recently in a segment on MotorWeek TV. MotorWeek airs on most PBS stations across the country and on the Velocity channel.


Share Your News with Us

We are always glad to hear from AR alumni, whether you need to update contact information or share interesting news about yourself or a classmate. Follow this link to share your information through our web-form.
We look forward to staying in touch!

AR Alumni Newsletter – April 2019

Don’t Miss 20th Annual CARS Motoring Festival

This student-run event gets better and better each year. You won’t want to miss all that is in store for this year’s show on May 3-4. It begins on Friday when Donald Osborne will be the guest speaker at An Evening with AR. A cruise-in Friday night, appearance by the Barn Find Hunter Saturday at the car show, along with hundreds of great cars (like this 1952 Ferrari), will round out the weekend. Watch the MC website for details or check out some of the student videos at #ProjectSheds to see behind the scenes preparations for this years C.A.R.S. Club Motoring Festival.

 


AR Professors Earn Promotions

Congratulations to McPherson College Auto Restoration faculty on their recent promotions. Garrick Green was promoted to professor of technology and Luke Chennell was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor of technology.


Inaugural Scholarship Announced at Amelia Island

A new scholarship honoring Denise McCluggage was announced at Amelia Island. The launch of the scholarship was the senior project for Abigayle Morgan and Emma Critiz (pictured here) was its first recipient. Learn how you can support the new scholarship and read more about it in AutoWeek!

 

 


Student Experiences…

HVA Convention – McPherson College students presented at the recent automotive history convention in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Matthew Tyler Delano Miller-Wells presented “Going for Gold: The History of Automobiles and Video Games” and Philip Reinhardt (pictured here) presented “A New Sort of Service Manual: Creating a Bugatti Type 57 User Manual.” In addition, Professor Luke Chennell presented “The Gospel of Grease: Service Manuals and Automotive Knowledge.” You can read more about the conference in Hemmings Daily.

 

 

Copperstate 1000 – Jacob Scruggs, Daniel Journey and Tyler Perkins served as apprentice mechanics on the recent Copperstate 1000 Road Rally, March 30-April 3. Pictured here, the students work on replacing the head gasket on a 1951 Stanguellini 1100S.

 

 

 


Share Your News with Us

We are always glad to hear from AR alumni, whether you need to update contact information or share interesting news about yourself or a classmate. Follow this link to share your information through our web-form.
We look forward to staying in touch!

AR Alumni Newsletter-Feb. 2019

Barn Find Hunter partners with MC

Alumni Austin Hiebert ’17 and Dalton Whitfield ’18 recently spent a week in Midland, Texas working with Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter rebuilding a 1962 Ford Country Sedan. The goal is to take it from junk yard to show field when Cotter drives it from Texas to McPherson for this year’s C.A.R.S. car show in May. Cotter serves on the National Advisory Board for the AR program. The project was a collaborative effort with support from Hagerty and the West Texas Cruisers. You can learn more about the Barn Finds story on the AR Facebook page: @MCautorestoration or check out this video from Hagerty.

 

 


Students publish Bugatti Manual

A manual researched and written by Professor Luke Chennell and students Carlos Espinel ’18 and Phillip Reinhart, senior, highlighting the Bugatti Type 57, 57S, and 57SC was published in January. The project, funded by the Bugatti Club of America, gave students the opportunity to interview Bugatti experts and work with alumni Ryan Noble ’08 and Ross Barton ’06 to prepare the manual. It provides basic information, diagnostics, and helps owners prepare for rally events. Current students Nick Chapetta, junior, and Reinhart were selected to help write a second manual that will focus on the Type 35 Grand Prix.

 

 


Dates set for internship, career fair

Do you remember making a great contact for a future job or internship at the annual AR career fair? Now is your chance to offer those kind of opportunities to current students. The 2019 Internship & Career Fair will be held at McPherson College on February 20-21. This annual event allows industry partners and employers a chance to tour the workshop facilities, interact directly with restoration faculty and students, and interview candidates for summer internships or employment upon graduation. Please RSVP to careers@mcpherson.edu if you are interested in attending.

 

 


New Scholarship attracts women to program

A scholarship honoring the legacy of Ellen “Nellie” Jackson encourages young women to pursue careers in the automotive world. Jackson was the matriarch of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company and a trailblazer in the collector car hobby. Born in Pontiac, Michigan, one of her first jobs was in the accounting department at Fisher Body, a division of General Motors. She and her husband, Russ, began collecting cars in the 1950s and by the end of the 1960s they had a collection of more than 30 vehicles and were active in local and national car clubs. At that time, Nellie was named the first female regional director of the Classic Car Club of America. Nellie and Russ started the Barrett-Jackson Auction with Tom Barrett in 1971. She held active roles in auction operations up until her death in 2010 at 90 years old. Throughout her life, Nellie Jackson combined an astute business sense, an open and caring personality, strong personal relationships and an appreciation for collector cars and the hobby to create and ever-growing universe of family, friends, colleagues and associates.


Mark Your Calendar

An Evening with AR, May 3, 2019, featuring Donald Osborne, will kick off a weekend highlighting the AR program at McPherson College. Osborne, in his signature bow tie, is a regular contributor on Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, and lends his considerable knowledge to organizations such as HVA and RM Sotheby’s. The 20th Annual CARS Club Car & Motorcycle Show is set for Saturday, May 4, 2019. The event will begin on Friday night with a Cruise-In at 6 p.m. on Main Street in McPherson. On Saturday, the car and motorcycle show will get underway at 8 a.m. on McPherson College campus. More details about An Evening with AR and registration for the car and motorcycle show will be on the McPherson College website in March.

AR Alumni Newsletter-December 2018

Consider a Gift to Red Wrench

The Red Wrench Club is an annual giving effort originally launched by a group of alumni to help provide a variety of tools and equipment for the AR shops – from engine rebuilding to trim, from chassis to metal shaping. A gift to the Red Wrench Club is the best way to put necessary tools in the hands of students and help them develop the skills they need to be successful in their future careers. Take a look at this year’s wish list and consider making a year-end gift to the Red Wrench Club.

>Read More &  Make a Gift


Mark Your Calendar:

The 20th Annual CARS Club Car & Motorcycle Show is set for Saturday, May 4, 2019. The event will begin on Friday night with a Cruise-In at 6 p.m. on Main Street in McPherson. On Saturday, the car and motorcycle show will get underway at 8 a.m. on McPherson College campus. An Evening with AR featuring Donald Osborne,  will also take place on Friday night. Osborne, in his signature bowtie, is a regular contributor on Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, and lends his considerable knowledge to organizations such as HVA and RM Sotheby’s. More details about his appearance and registration for the car and motorcycle show will be on the McPherson College website in March.


Mercedes Update:

In November, Bob Lapane from Paul Russell Company spent time in the lab helping students assemble the rear differential and axle for the college’s 300 S Mercedes-Benz.

 

 


Students Wyatt Micelli, Gray Irwin, and Yunce Liang also worked on assembling wheel cylinders for the brake system.

 

 

 


Sheds projects makes cover

Congratulations to Austin Grabowski for making the cover of Hot Rod Deluxe magazine. Austin was featured in the last AR Alumni newsletter. If you missed reading about his car, check out the link to the Hot Rod article. This car was built in the Mustang Sheds across from campus while Austin was a student at McPherson College.

 


Alumni Update:

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NAME: Stacy Puckett Taylor
GRADUATION: 2004
RESIDENCE: Detroit, Michigan
WORK: I am the manager at Smith Shop. We produce functional and ornamental metalwork from fine goldsmithing to architectural iron work handmade in Detroit: www.smithshopdetroit.com. I also maintain a consulting and research business for automotive restoration projects.
Latest Project: My husband and I are in the process of rehabbing a 25,000 sq. ft. old industrial building in Detroit to be our home and shop. We have also been restoring a two-family house that we live in now. Our car projects are numerous and include a 1962 Austin Healey, a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado mild custom and a 1962 Mark II Jaguar that is destined to be a vintage racer. I have a 1964 Ford F100 that we use as our good weather work truck. There are a few more, but…
If you could test drive any car, what would it be: 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
The vehicle you miss the most: My 1965 Ford Fairlane. Her name was Pearl.
The next vehicle you’ll  add to your collection: A nice everyday driver would be an Audi RS7 and for a classic, I am dying for a funky little Fiat 500.

 

McPherson College partners with Ferrari on scholarships, student experience

McPherson College will partner with the Ferrari Club of America to provide scholarship support, internship opportunities, tooling, and student experiences for automotive restoration students.

The Ferrari Club of America is the largest membership organization of Ferrari enthusiasts in the world. The organization comprises 6,500 members in 40 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The club’s Annual Meeting event draws hundreds of Ferraris from around the world that participate in a concours, rally and other events.

“We are pleased to partner with an organization that understands the importance of encouraging the next generation of auto restoration craftsmen,” Amanda Gutierrez, vice president of automotive restoration, said. “Collaborating with the Ferrari Club of America and its extensive membership base across North America will offer many opportunities for our students.”

This year four students from McPherson College were invited to attend in The Ferrari Club of America Annual Meeting where they participated in judging meetings, seminars, and served as apprentice judges for The Ferrari Club of America International Concours. They also had the opportunity to visit the historic Watkins-Glen racetrack.

In its announcement, the Ferrari Club of America stated it plans to support scholarship through voluntary member contribution as well as club fund raising events, donate tools and foreign cars or engines, and support efforts to establish internships and future employment opportunities for students.

“McPherson College stands alone as the only school to provide a bachelor’s degree in restoration technology and its students are looking to apply their skills and learn in a world-setting,” Randy Steyer, FCA National Secretary, said. “Our members know companies that can provide quality learning experiences for these dedicated, passionate, and skilled students.”

Jazz Festival draws hundreds to campus

The sounds of jazz could be heard across the campus of McPherson College as nearly 450 musicians participated in the fifth annual Jazz Festival on Thursday, November 1.

This year, 24 groups from 18 area high schools performed and participated in an on-stage clinic with a professional jazz educator. Clinicians included Daryl Batchelor, retired Hutchinson Community College director of jazz studies; Gregg Walker, retired jazz educator and adjunct of woodwinds at McPherson College; and Joe Clements and Steve Hatfield, Wichita area jazz artists and educators.

Director of bands and associate professor of music at McPherson College, Kyle Hopkins, said the idea for the annual jazz festival came from band directors asking for quality jazz band education. The festival is held each year in the fall, typically a time when marching band overshadows other aspects of a band program, and has grown in size each year.

“Jazz is the quintessential American art form,” Hopkins said. “In studying jazz, you can’t separate the music from the history of jazz, which is American history. What a great thing to teach our kids! Especially in a time when co-curricular classes are experiencing a squeeze, forcing many of them out of school curriculums.”

Awards were given for outstanding individual musicianship and each group was rated and critiqued on its performance.

AR Alumni Newsletter – October 2018

Save the Date: May 3, 2019

Donald Osborne, historian, appraiser, consultant, and writer, will share his expertise at “An Evening with AR” on May 3, 2019 at Mingenback Theatre. Osborne, in his signature bowtie, is a regular contributor on Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, and lends his considerable knowledge to organizations such as HVA and RM Sotheby’s. More details about his appearance will be on the McPherson College website in March.

 


Meet New NAB Members

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Casey Maxon ’13, Heritage Specialist, Historic Vehicle Association: “I am thrilled to serve on the National Advisory Board, lending my support to students that will be the next stewards of our automotive heritage and to the faculty and institution that is vital to making it happen.”

Ross Barton ’06Manager, Calkins Collection (where he maintains and manages their collection of Vintage Sport and historic Indy racing cars): “The reason I choose to serve on the advisory board is to give back to a program that has given me so much. Much of the success in my career I owe to McPherson College.”

Dave Kinney, Owner of USAppraisal :”For me, choosing to serve on the advisory board is a combination of passions. Most obviously is the love of the automobile, but also the motor vehicle’s  role in society and the various twists and turns in its history.”


Mercedes Update

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Engine – Students recently met on a Friday night to begin work on the Mercedes-Benz 300 S engine. The engine, which is original to the vehicle, was disassembled and parts were bagged and properly identified. After a complete list is created, parts will be sourced to rebuild the engine.

Trim – The leather for the Mercedes-Benz 300 S project has officially been cut! Students continue to do small practice examples before beginning construction of the final back seat cover. The nine leather hides for the project were donated by the Dallas company, Aeristo, a leading supplier of high-end leathers for companies around the world.


New To Us

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AR recently received two interesting donations that will be added to the rotation of projects student have an opportunity to work on. AR continues to manage its inventory by accepting automobiles that provide students a diverse array for learning opportunities. Recent donations include a 1956 Continental Mark II, all original, one owner, and a 1972 Formula Ford, Royal chassis.


Program News:

Ferrari Club of America Partnership – In November, we will make a joint announcement with Ferrari Club of America about a partnership to support scholarships, internship opportunities, tooling, and student experience for automotive restoration students. The FCA sponsored four students to attend its annual meet in Corning, New York in September. Students attended judging meetings and served as apprentice judges for the Concours and got to visit the Watkins-Glen racetrack.
American Bugatti Club Project – Professor Luke Chennell, along with students Philip Reinhardt and Carlos Espinel, created a Bugatti Rally Manual for the American Bugatti Club. This was an extensive research and writing project. Professor Chennell and the students were invited to attend the annual meeting this March in Californa where they presented their work to club members. Student Nick Chapetta was selected to join the team in May when Espinel graduate. Chapetta, Reinhardt and Professor Chennell were recently guests at the Lime Rock race track in Connecticut where they worked on cars in the pits and familiarized themselves with the Grand Prix Bugattis for the next manual project.

Alumni Update:

NAME: Austin Grabowski
GRADUATION: 2013
RESIDENCE: California
WORK: Grabowski Speed Shop
Austin’s work was recently featured online in Hot Rod Deluxe. The article highlights the Olds Rocket Powered 1932 Ford Roadster that he worked on as a student. It’s a great article with fantastic photos of his Roadster.

Share Your News

We are always glad to hear from AR alumni, whether you need to update contact information or share interesting news about yourself or a classmate. Follow this link to share your information through our web-form.
We look forward to staying in touch!

AR Alumni Newsletter – August 2018

Automobile Magazine features AR program

The AR program has received many great reviews on a recent article, titled “Cradle of the Restoration Craft,” that appeared in Automobile Magazine. The article appears in the August edition of the magazine in news stands now as well as online. The article does a great job at telling the AR story to a wide audience. Read the full article.

Atlanta Concours joins line-up of MC events

Staff and students will participate in Atlanta Concours d’Elegance on September 29-30. The Atlanta Concours joins other events like the Amelia Island Concours and Pebble Beach Concours and others in which students take part as apprentice judges and get the opportunity to network with alumni and other industry leaders. Read more about the Atlanta Concours.

Where You Can See Us…

Participating in industry events across the country is just one of the ways McPherson College offers unique experiences for students. Seeing MC alumni at these events is not only a highlight for students and staff, but also an inspiration for the students. We look forward to seeing you in the coming year.
Auto Restoration Calendar
2018
  • August 22-26 – Pebble Beach Week
  • September 7-8 – Des Moines Concours
  • September 15-17 – Ferrari Club of North America at Watkins-Glen
  • September 28-30 – Atlanta Concours
2019
  • January 13-21 – Scottsdale Auctions
  • March 8-10 – Amelia Island Concours
  • May 1-4 – Auto Restoration Week
  • May 3 – Evening with AR
  • May 4 – CARS Club Show

MC student internships provide industry exposure

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AR alumni know how important internship experience can be as a student. Internships offer exposure to the restoration industry and often times lead to job after graduation. This summer McPherson College AR students are putting their education to work in internships across the country and the globe!

Graham Eidemiller, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Auburn, Indiana – Graham was responsible for condition reports on vehicles, maintaining and servicing the museum’s running vehicles, updating car history and technical specs for display, and helping sort and identify archived photos. Highlights of his internship included getting a Tucker 48 running for a concours event and getting a 1937 Cord 812 ready for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival parade.

Abigayle Morgan, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Carmel, California – Abigayle served as participant relations intern, interacting with the entrants and judges of the show. She also aided with mailings, data entry, and public inquiries. Abigayle is a senior majoring in restoration technology and minoring in communications.

Curren Harris, Gentry Motorcars, Manchester, Maryland – While interning Curren worked on a 1958 Chevrolet Corvette. He helped install the engine and transmission, and put the body back on the frame, and fully wired the car. Gentry Motorcars is owned by McPherson College alumus Blair Darsch ’14.

Geoffrey Smith & Sam Arant, RM Sotheby’s, Auburn, Indiana – Geoffrey and Sam worked on all of the auction vehicles at the park and photographed cars for documentation. They enjoyed the internship and gained experience in a large variety of cars and the skills it takes to work on them.

MC in the News…

McPherson College has been featured in the news recently for its high job placement rates and for being named, for the fourth year in a row, to the “Great Colleges to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Read the full articles at the links below.

Alumni Update…

NAME: Rick Morchesky
GRADUATION: 2015
RESIDENCE: California
WORK: I work as a metalshaper/fabricator at Walden Speed Shop
LATEST PROJECT: I’ve spent the last two years customizing a 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe at Walden Speed Shop. It is by far the most in-depth project I’ve ever been a part of, but I enjoy the challenge it presents.
THE VEHICLE I MISS THE MOST: My first car, a 1993 Pontiac Bonneville, that was in such bad shape I carried a staple gun in the car to keep what was left of the headliner up.
THE NEXT VEHICLE I WANT TO ADD TO MY COLLECTION: I’d really like to build myself a nice little Ford Model A roadster.
(Editor’s Note: To see more of Rick’s work, check him out on Instagram.)

National Magazine Features McPherson College

McPherson College is featured in an article appearing in Automobile Magazine touting the college’s four-year bachelor degree in automotive restoration, the only degree of its kind in the nation. The article, “Cradle of the Restoration Craft,” is featured in the magazine’s online version now and will be included in its August print edition.

“It’s always great to be recognized on a national level,” Amanda Gutierrez, vice president of Automotive Restoration, said. “This article not only validates what we do in terms of automotive restoration, but also what we do in terms of a liberal arts education and its value to all of our graduates.”

While on campus, the magazine, interviewed several students and faculty members and photographed several aspects of the program. The article states, “an increasing number of these future artisans come from a small liberal arts college…and many of them are eagerly snapped up by some the country’s finest restoration shops.”

Among the 2018 McPherson College graduates, 88 percent who were employed, had jobs in their major prior to commencement, 96 percent of automotive restoration students had jobs in their field, and 64 percent of all MC graduates reported having a job or graduate school plans prior to commencement, compared to a national average of 21 percent.

(Photography by William Walker for Automobile Magazine)