McPherson College Hosts Most Unique Car Show In Midwest
Posted On: April 11, 2023 By: MC Admin
1969 Chevrolet Astro III concept car
One-of-a-kind classic automobiles will be displayed during the 23rd Annual C.A.R.S. Club Motoring Festival at McPherson College on Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A few of the cars expected on the field this year include the 1951 GM LeSabre concept car, the 1969 Chevrolet Astro III concept, and a 2024 Chevrolet all-electric Blazer EV SS, all from the General Motors collection, as well as a 1955 Ghia Gilda.
Each year, the student-run car show attracts rare vehicles from across the country and expects 350 to 400 vehicles to be on display throughout the campus grounds this year. Alongside the rare classic cars, automotive restoration students also present vehicles they are currently restoring.
“The car show serves as one of the biggest networking and alumni-gathering events for the college,” said Matt Kroeker, car show chair, “Every year, hundreds of cars ranging from student projects and local show winners, all the way up to Pebble Beach best-of-show contenders, converge on the college lawn for a unique day celebrating McPherson’s heritage as a leader in the antique automobile industry.”
At the car show this year, the students, alumni, and staff who recently found out their 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet was accepted to Pebble Beach will be recognized, and the car will be on display.
In addition to the wide variety of classic automobiles, the event will also feature entertainment provided by the McPherson College Jazz Band and the McPherson High School Jazz Band. The Model-T Team will demonstrate at 2 p.m., just before the awards ceremony. Building tours of Templeton Hall, home of the McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program, will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Complimentary trolley service will be available between campus and Main Street from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There is no charge for spectators. Food trucks will also be available on campus to purchase food and beverages.
Car enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in a Cruise-in on Friday, May 5, on Main Street in McPherson beginning at 6 p.m. No registration or entry fee is required for this event, which serves as a sneak peek at what will be on the show field and an opportunity for any car or motorcycle owner to display their rides in an informal show.
Pre-registration for Saturday’s event is available online at a discounted rate until April 22. Registration can also be made on the day of the show. Details are at www.mcpherson.edu/autorestoration/cars.
Small Kansas College Will Show Car at Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance
Posted On: April 3, 2023 By: MC Admin
McPherson College’s classic 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S is the college’s first car fully restored by its students to be accepted in the nation’s most prestigious car event.
A vision, 10 years in the making, has come true for students, alumni, and employees of the McPherson College Automotive Restoration program — the only four-year bachelor’s degree program for automotive restoration in the nation. The 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet, entirely restored by students, has been accepted by the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and will be shown there on August 20.
“Congratulations to the McPherson College students for having their car accepted to Pebble Beach,” said comedian and car enthusiast Jay Leno. Leno’s support 20 years ago was the turning point for the program when it pivoted from an associate’s to a bachelor’s degree. “I am proud to be associated with the college. Much like art historians who clean and repair the works of the renaissance era, the young men and women at McPherson College are doing it with automobiles, recreating abilities and techniques long forgotten, and they’ll make a good living doing it. Our hobby and heritage are safe in their hands.”
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the oldest Concours in the United States and one of the world’s most prestigious gatherings of rare and antique automobiles. Prized collector cars compete each year for Best of Show, the most coveted award in the automotive industry. The Concours Selection Committee spends weeks vetting each entry, narrowing its selection down to the top classic cars in the world, which are invited to show.
Early work on the Mercedes-Benz 300 S restoration.
“We set a bold vision 10 years ago to show a car at Pebble Beach, and I was confident our students and staff could attain it,” said Amanda Gutierrez, provost and vice president of automotive restoration. “The goal was to get invited to compete at Pebble Beach, but there is a significant process that makes that happen, especially at a small college with students working outside of class hours. This project has been a valuable learning experience for our students as they study toward their bachelor’s degree in automotive restoration. It was intense work requiring exceptional commitment, and I am extremely proud of them.”
After an exhaustive search for the right car, work on the project began and has incorporated classroom curricula, expert guest lectures, and senior capstone experiences. The restoration was completed by teams of student interns who worked over the course of the restoration. Brian Martin, director of automotive restoration projects, supervises the student team.
“When we set out to do this, we knew it was going to be a long-term commitment,” Martin said. “It is a complete, frame-off, top-to-bottom restoration by students. We planned for it to become the cornerstone of our program and an example of the skills our students develop while they are here.”
McPherson College has a long history of student participation at Pebble Beach, dating back to 2008 when the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Pebble Beach Company Foundation established scholarships honoring Formula One World Champion and famed restorer Phil Hill. Over the years, more than 25 McPherson College students have earned college scholarships from Pebble Beach.
Pebble Beach Company Foundation scholarship recipients not only attend the event and shadow the judges, they also have been part of panel discussions, prepared and presented cars for the field, and attended numerous additional events during the week. However, this August will mark the first time the college will show a classic vehicle fully restored by its students.
Students working on the Mercedes-Benz 300 S engine.
“It’s a remarkable accomplishment,” said McPherson College President Michael Schneider. “Since the project began, nearly every student in the auto restoration program has been exposed to the restoration through classes, workshops, or as part of an internship team. For some of them, getting a chance to work on this project was why they decided to attend McPherson College. This achievement will positively impact our students and program for years. Managing this project was an enormous undertaking, and I commend the individuals, especially Brian Martin, who helped mentor our students through this process. Our friends at Paul Russell and Company as well as the Mercedes Benz Classic Center, were excellent advisors on the project. I also thank Jay Leno, whose early and consistent support over the years has helped us flourish and reach Pebble Beach.”
Members of the student team, the Pebble Beach Scholars, college staff, and alumni will accompany the car to Pebble Beach in August. A recognition of their efforts will be celebrated during the CARS Club Motoring Festival on Saturday, May 6, at McPherson College at 2 p.m. before the awards ceremony.
Showing a student-restored car at Pebble Beach is another example of McPherson College achieving what many people consider impossible. In November, the college announced a historic $500 million matching gift. To date, the college has raised over $170 million of the $250 million needed to secure the $500 million, including generous gifts from car enthusiasts Melanie and Richard Lundquist, the Rob Walton Foundation, and Dave Kinney.
Nation’s Top Automotive Industry Research Authority Partners With McPherson College Auto Restoration Program To Develop Mobility, Engineering Program
Posted On: January 24, 2023 By: MC Admin
McPherson College will partner with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) — considered the most respected research source in the automotive industry — on a study exploring the future of transportation and mobility to create a new engineering, design, and mobility program building on its existing Automotive Restoration program. Creating a national center for the future of engineering, design, and mobility is one of the key initiatives supported by the college’s $500 million double-match estate commitment.
The CAR study will examine a wide range of approaches to the future of mobility, including electrification, mobility ecosystem, urban planning, roadway design, and more, to create a dynamic curriculum for the new program.
“For decades, the Auto Restoration program at McPherson College has been offering a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in the history and hands-on restoration of classic cars,” President Michael Schneider said. “We want to build from this unique program and offer students more opportunities based on what the future looks like for transportation and mobility. CAR will help ensure we move in the right direction.”
CAR, a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is focused on the future direction of the global automotive industry. Its mission is to inform and advise through independent research, education, and dialogue, enabling a more viable and sustainable automotive ecosystem. CAR maintains close collaboration and relationships with automakers, suppliers, industry associations, government, non-profit, labor organizations, and educational institutions to provide leading, thought-provoking, and impactful research.
CAR specializes in connecting the needs of the automotive industry to what academic curriculums require to match those needs. This includes analyzing degree programs, evaluating student preparedness, and assessing facilities, classrooms, and equipment.
“CAR engages with academic institutions, automotive industry leaders, and municipal organizations to understand the required skills and competencies of the future workforce,” said Alan Amici, President and CEO of CAR. “Our findings will enable McPherson to create an academic program that meets the needs of students and employers in a rapidly changing environment. Today, there is a strong need for students to be involved with a company or project that benefits society. McPherson College recognizes this and values strong community engagement. We are excited to work with McPherson College to bring all these components together in developing this new program.”
The Auto Restoration program at McPherson College is 45 years old and recognized as the only program of its kind in the nation. It offers a bachelor’s degree in technology with an emphasis on automotive history, restoration management, automotive communications, restoration design, and automotive restoration technology. Students are immersed in the automotive industry through hands-on experiences and internships across the country and around the globe. Current students are restoring a 1953 Mercedes Benz 300 S Cabriolet to compete at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August.
The CAR study will include benchmarking existing engineering programs at other colleges and universities, analyzing the engineering skills needed to succeed and lead in the future mobility ecosystem, and making recommendations for curriculum. CAR will also consider additional certification programs to supplement and enhance the new program. McPherson College will receive a final report at the end of May 2023.
To date, the college has raised close to $150 million of the $250 million needed to secure the $500 million match, including a $50 million commitment from Californian philanthropists and car enthusiasts Melanie and Richard Lundquist. To learn more about the $500 million two-for-one match applied to endowment donations and estate gift commitments made to McPherson College, visit www.mcpherson.edu/500match.
McPherson College Establishes the Rob Walton Scholarship Fund
Posted On: December 12, 2022 By: MC Admin
$1 million gift will go toward $500 million match campaign
McPherson College has announced the creation of an endowed scholarship fund for students pursuing a degree in automotive restoration. The Rob Walton Scholarship Fund will focus on attracting and retaining the best students in the college’s unique automotive restoration program.
The $1 million gift from the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation will be supplemented by the two-for-one donor match announced by the college in November, resulting in $3 million for the McPherson College endowment. The anonymous double-match estate commitment of $500 million is the largest in the history of any liberal arts college in the United States.
“This grant helps us fulfill our mission of being the center of excellence for students serious about automotive restoration,” said McPherson College President Michael Schneider. “Students completing their degree from our program are the skilled craftsmen, technicians, historians, curators, managers, marketing and communication persons, and leaders necessary to preserve the classic car industry.”
The Waltons join the former host of The Tonight Show and car enthusiast Jay Leno in providing student scholarships for the program and continues the significant contributions toward the $500 million match recently announced by McPherson College.
“Driving and collecting vintage automobiles is a personal passion,” said Rob Walton. “We’re pleased to contribute to educating the next generation of car restorers and making college more affordable for McPherson students.”
The McPherson College automotive restoration program combines a liberal arts approach with hands-on craftsmanship that prepares students to be successful in a broad range of careers in the automotive industry. Graduates of the nation’s only accredited four-year bachelor’s degree program in automotive restoration go on to work for the biggest names in the automotive industry. Current students are restoring a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet that will be entered in the renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2023. The program has attracted the attention of industry leaders and car enthusiasts such as Richard Lundquist, who donated a 1972 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona to the program.
Beyond offering one-of-a-kind educational opportunities, McPherson College is committed to helping students graduate with little to zero student debt. Its Student Debt Project utilizes financial literacy, mentoring, and matching funds to assist students working while attending college. So far, students in the program have reduced their projected debt at graduation by $12,000. Scholarships, like the Rob Walton Scholarship Fund, work in tandem with the Student Debt Project to help minimize the need for student and family educational loans.
To date, the college has raised over $130 million of the $250 million needed to secure the $500 million match, including a $50 million commitment from Californian philanthropists Melanie and Richard Lundquist. To learn more about the $500 million two-for-one match applied to endowment donations and estate gift commitments made to McPherson College, visit www.mcpherson.edu/500match.
Prized Enzo-Era Ferrari Arrives at McPherson College in Surprise Ceremony
Posted On: May 9, 2022 By: MC Admin
In a surprise ceremony last Friday, McPherson College received and unveiled a classic 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, a two-seat grand tourer, a gift from Dr. Richard Lundquist, LHD. A longtime supporter of the college’s auto restoration program, Lundquist’s gift marks the first Ferrari the college has ever received.
“I’m pleased to hand over the keys to one of my most prized possessions to the wonderful students and faculty at McPherson College,” said Lundquist. “It’s my hope that the car provides enhanced learning opportunities and can be restored by the students and eventually compete in prestigious events.”
For 46 years, McPherson College has been the only college in America developing the next generation of automotive restorers, with graduates securing positions with some of the top car collectors, museums, and restoration companies in the world. The program’s students study and work on historic cars, including a 1927 Ford Model A, a 1936 V-12 Lincoln Convertible Sedan, and a 1956 Austin Healey 100M, and are able to learn how to properly work on and restore cars that carry a deep history. And while they have worked on many unique and storied vehicles, the Ferrari stands alone in its prestige and history.
“The magnitude of this gift is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for not only our automotive restoration students, but the entire McPherson community,” said McPherson College President Michael Schneider. “This is one of the most impactful educational tools and gifts that McPherson College has ever received. We cannot thank Richard enough for this gift and his continued friendship and support of the college.”
The 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 is one of the last models manufactured by Ferrari before company founder and namesake Enzo Ferrari sold the company to Fiat. The two-seat grand tourer, designed by Pininfarina and built by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, was ranked number two in Motor Trend’s “Greatest Ferraris of All Time.”
“This car is old-school. It’s largely handmade at a time when this just wasn’t done, and with its engine in the front, the 365 GTB/4 ran counter to the latest trend of putting the engine behind the driver,” Ed Barr, professor of technology at McPherson College, said. “Enzo Ferrari’s willingness to disregard the latest fad and embrace craftsmanship in pursuit of excellence are sentiments our students will appreciate. The hands-on study of this car will allow our students to retrace the steps and learn the methods of the craftspeople who built it the first time.”
After the unveiling, students were able to come to the stage to examine the car up close and talk with Lundquist about the vehicle’s story and journey to McPherson College.
“It gave me a broad smile to see the students engaging with the car up close in a way that could never happen if it was cordoned off in a museum,” said Lundquist.
During a ceremony earlier Friday, McPherson also officially dedicated, cut the ribbon, and formally opened the Paul Russell and Company Center for Automotive Research, made possible through a generous gift from Melanie and Richard Lundquist. Last year, McPherson College announced that Florida philanthropist and automotive enthusiast, Dano Davis, gave $1 million in a match gift towards the college’s $20 million goal.
In March 2021, McPherson College conferred honorary doctorates on Richard and his wife, Melanie, to recognize the couple’s significant body of work in driving systemic change in K-12 public education, health care delivery, and innovation, as well as the environment. The Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD) degrees were awarded by McPherson College’s Board of Trustees and faculty, who voted unanimously to recognize the Lundquists with the honorary degrees.
McPherson College Automotive Restoration Dedicates New Research Center On Campus In Honor Of Classic Car Restoration Expert Paul Russell And Company
Posted On: May 6, 2022 By: MC Admin
With a crowd of campus community members and industry partners looking on, McPherson College dedicated the Paul Russell and Company Center for Automotive Research on May 6, 2022.
The research center, made possible through a generous gift from Richard and Melanie Lundquist, LHD, encompasses the entire south wing of Miller Library’s upper floor in a newly remodeled area. The new space is named for Paul Russell and Company, the renowned classic car restoration company with top awards from the world’s most prestigious concours events including Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance and Ville d’Este. Paul Russell has been a part of the McPherson College Auto Restoration National Advisory Board for 20 years and is currently chair of the board. Throughout his time on the board, he has hired numerous interns and staff from McPherson College.
“I hope the students will take opportunities to find out what is in this collection, to encourage ‘time travel’ and that it becomes a place to browse and discover even when you are not required to be there,” Paul Russell said about the new library. “Automotive history is interwoven with our human history and reflects and has influenced every aspect of the twentieth-century life. Its study only enhances the hands-on aspect of restoration work by bringing understanding to life and times of the people who designed and built the cars when new.”
The automotive restoration collection contains approximately 25,000 materials including sales brochures from almost 100 different manufacturers dating from 1908 to the present and original Duesenberg blueprints. Other types of materials held in this collection include classic auto repair manuals, periodicals, and books on a variety of automotive subjects. The new space allows considerably more room for student research within the library. Resources in the open section are available for check out from the library while items in the special collection section remain in the library with access granted by library staff.
“At any given time, you can find students from across college disciplines making use of the renovated space,” Kristie Sojka, library director, said. “It is brighter, allowing materials to be more accessible and easier to find, and the new furniture provides a variety of comfortable ways for users to spend time researching. The space helps the library move forward in achieving our goal of creating a welcoming atmosphere while offering both academic and social spaces where students, faculty, and staff are able to connect with information and each other.”
The dedication helped kick off the annual McPherson College Motoring Weekend on May 6-7, a culmination of the academic year when students, alumni, and industry partners from across the country gather to celebrate the automobile. Other activities included the annual CARS Club Car Show, a student-run car event held on the campus grounds, and a Cruise-In held on Main Street in McPherson.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating the dedication of this facility on our campus,” Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for automotive restoration, said. “We are grateful to Melanie and Richard for choosing to honor Paul Russell and Company in a way that so directly impacts our students and faculty during the learning process.”
McPherson College Car Show Expects Unique Field of Classic Cars
Posted On: April 11, 2022 By: MC Admin
Priceless, one-of-a-kind classic automobiles will be on display during the 22nd Annual C.A.R.S. Club Motoring Festival at McPherson College on Saturday, May 7, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A few of the cars expected on the field this year include the 1938 Buick Y-Job concept car, the 1961 Mako Shark Corvette concept, and the 1970 Pontiac Pegasus concept all from the General Motors collection.
Each year, the student-run car show attracts rare vehicles from across the country and expects 350 to 400 vehicles to be on display throughout the campus grounds this year. Other special cars expected at this year’s event include a 1941 Chevrolet Fleetline from Rad Rides by Troy, a 1937 Cord 812 Sportsman, a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe, Aston-Martin DB2, and a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster.
“The car show is the ultimate celebration of automotive work where future automotive restorers and current masters within the industry meet,” Wyatt Miceli, a senior and student leader of this year’s car show, said. “The show is entirely student-operated and welcomes all marques across a variety of price ranges. Every year, both students and professionals show off their skills and get to enjoy a great day surrounded by friends, family, and community.”
The weekend will also celebrate the dedication of The Paul Russell & Company Center for Automotive Research in Miller Library on the college campus. The dedication will take place on Friday and the space will be open to tour on Saturday.
Along with a wide variety of classic automobiles, the event will also feature entertainment provided by the McPherson College Steel Drum Band and Jazz Band as well as the McPherson High School Jazz Band. The Model-T Build Team will demonstrate at 2 p.m., just prior to the awards ceremony. Building tours of Templeton Hall, home of the McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program, will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is no charge for spectators. Food trucks will also be available on campus to purchase food and beverages.
Car enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in a Cruise-in on Friday, May 6 on Main Street in McPherson beginning at 6 p.m. There is no registration or entry fee required for this event, which serves as a sneak peek at what will be on the show field and an opportunity for any car or motorcycle owner to display their rides in an informal show.
Pre-registration for Saturday’s event is available online at a discounted rate until April 22. Registration can also be made on the day of the show. Details are at mcpherson.edu/autorestoration/cars.
McPherson College Announces Endowed Scholarship Gift To Automotive Restoration Program
Posted On: April 7, 2022 By: MC Admin
A family’s life-long passion for cars has made it possible to establish an endowed scholarship at McPherson College with an initial gift of $400,000 in the name of Col. Daryl and Ann Hemken. The permanent fund will award scholarships annually to students in the automotive restoration program.
“The Hemken family’s love of cars is extraordinary and their desire to support the next generation of automotive leaders assures that their family’s passion will continue well into the future,” McPherson College President Michael Schneider said. “The impact of their gift will be far-reaching, not only on the lives of our students but also on the automotive restoration industry that will benefit from our graduates.”
The late Col. Daryl and Ann Hemken started buying and collecting cars shortly after they were married in 1954. What started as a hobby turned into a passion that involved their entire family and eventually led to the founding of The Hemken Collection Museum in Williams, Iowa, where they lived. The collection was sold at auction in September 2021.
Daryl Hemken began his military career in 1948 and spent 34 years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1982. He earned a degree in agriculture from Iowa State University and moved to Williams in 1962 where he farmed until retiring in 1994. Ann Hemken graduated from Cornell University and was a teacher for 24 years. Their love for collecting cars began with a 1914 Model T Ford Roadster purchased in 1960. Over the years, they acquired well over 150 automobiles and a wide assortment of parts. The core of their collection included cars from every manufacturer in the United States made between 1947 and 1948. They opened The Hemken Collection Museum in 2000 where Ann continued her love of education by giving tours to guests as well as researching, cataloging, and creating displays for the museum. Her commitment to education was a factor when the museum’s board of directors considered places to receive the proceeds from the auction.
In addition to the generous gift, the museum also hosted two McPherson College student interns to work for a summer preparing the collection for the auction.
“These scholarships acknowledge the Hemkens’ strong love of the automotive experience and belief in the value of education,” Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for automotive restoration, said. “In honoring Colonel and Mrs. Hemken with this gift, the family also honors the automotive experience that they all enjoyed together. And, they support a generation of students pursuing a career that carries on that love of the automobile.”
Institute “Alum” Challenges Others To Give On Power Day
Posted On: February 22, 2022 By: MC Admin
Jeff Slagle is offering a $10,000 matching gift towards auto restoration on Power Day 2022.
Jeff Slagle is not a McPherson College alumnus but has completed as many classroom hours as some graduates and this year is joining the alumni who support the college’s annual Power Day with a matching gift.
Slagle, who lives in Huntsville, AL, is a regular participant of the Summer Institute offered through the automotive restoration program at McPherson College. Each year in June, the college offers a variety of weeklong classes for hobbyists and professionals taught by the school’s auto restoration faculty. Slagle has been coming to the institute for the past seven years.
“I haven’t taken every class yet, but I have taken some twice,” Slagle said. “I believe in education and wanted to learn from somebody who knows what they are doing rather than watching YouTube videos and possibly learning bad habits.”
“Car Camp,” as he calls it, started for Slagle when he searched the internet for “car schools” and “restoration” in hopes of finding some help on a car project. He found McPherson College and stumbled onto the Summer Institute registration. Slagle says he’s gained knowledge and confidence over the years coming to the summer classes. He is an ASE certified Master Technician and helps other car owners in his local car club work on their classics.
“Just because you are taking a class on engines doesn’t mean that’s all you are learning about,” he said. “It’s interesting, and I keep coming back because that’s where I get to see a lot of my friends. All of the people I have met there over the years are my friends and we all have a common interest. It’s my summer vacation.”
Slagle has been showing his appreciation of the program for several years by making gifts to Power Day, the yearly online day of giving; however, this year he decided to support the college with a $10,000 matching gift for the automotive restoration program.
“I’ve given in the past, mostly to get the free t-shirt,” Slagle jokes. “I was asked if I would consider a matching gift and I thought this was a good way to show my appreciation of the program and maybe encourage others to do the same.”
Power Day is set for March 10 and will include live videos and updates all day on all of the college social media channels. Last year’s Power Day raised nearly $200,000. Other matching opportunities this year include a $50,000 matching gift for the MC Fund or any academic program from the Paul Family as well as $25,000 of matching gifts for athletics, from young alumni, and for the choir trip to Carnegie Hall from the VanGoethem family.
Horizon Grant Funds First Book For Auto Restoration Student
Posted On: April 15, 2021 By: MC Admin
Jackie Gulliion, sophomore auto restoration student
The title of her first book, “Nuts & Bolts,” is very fitting for McPherson College students Jackie Gullion. She is a sophomore in the automotive restoration program and getting ready to publish her first collection of poems, prose, and non-fiction.
Gullion, who is from Fremont, CA, received a Horizon Fund Grant from the college to help her with the cost of publishing the book. The college awards the mini-grants to encourage the development of entrepreneurial ideas among students. McPherson College has awarded more than 250 grants since 2010.
The idea of writing a book did not occur to Gullion until she became a student at the college and began writing letters to her aunt.
“Writing was something I did a lot in high school but I didn’t think I was good at it,” she said. “Then I came here and joined the Rogue Writers. I realized how much I enjoyed writing.”
Through Rogue Writers – the college’s creative writing club – and encouragement from professors, Gullion gained the confidence to start collecting enough work for a book. She is also pursuing a minor in writing and hopes to become the first person at McPherson College to graduate with one.
“I plan to continue writing after I graduate,” she said. “My goal is to publish a book each year. I already have enough for one or two more books.”
Some of her writing reflects her other passion for automobiles, such as this excerpt from a poem: “Remembering the sounds;/drills making music, engines coming to life,/screams of frustration, ones that we can all relate to/nuts and bolts turning/bringing together life of something/we never thought would be resurrected.”
McPherson College was her first and only choice when it came to selecting a college. She received a Phil Hill Scholar in 2020, a scholarship awarded by the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, and serves as president of C.A.R.S. Club, the student organization for auto restoration.
“Some of the writing in the book is about how I feel when I’m driving and the experiences I’ve had as a student in the AR program,” she said. “It’s my meditation moment.”
Gullion hopes to have a book launch party next semester and looks forward to hosting a book signing and reading events at local stores and libraries.