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‘Wheels of Change’ Explores Automotive Entrepreneurs

Andrew Beckman

Andrew Beckman, archivist at the Studebaker National Museum

Join McPherson College “Wheels of Change: How the Automobile Shaped Our Lives,” a six-week summer experience that explores the people, innovations, and art of the automotive industry. Next week’s session on Thursday, July 2 at noon CDT is titled “Paving the Way for the Automobile – Roads, steam, omni-busses, bicycles, and the entrepreneurs behind them,” with Andrew Beckman, archivist at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend Indiana.

Beckman has been with the Studebaker National Museum since 1999. He hails from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and holds a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. In 2004, he completed the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he earned his mid-level certificate in Collections Preservation from the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mount Carroll, Illinois. He is the author of “The Studebaker National Museum: Over a Century on Wheels,” and “Studebaker’s Last Dance: The Avanti,” and is a columnist for the Studebaker Drivers Club magazine, Turning Wheels.

In addition to his duties at the Studebaker National Museum, Beckman is a member and past president of the Society of Automotive Historians. He also serves as a commentator for The Henry Ford Museum’s Motor Muster and Old Car Fest, and has guested on NPR’s Science Friday, CNN Money, and WGN radio’s “The Steve and Johnnie Show.” He grew up in a family of Studebaker owners and currently owns a 1941 Studebaker President Skyway Cruising Sedan and a 1964 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop.

Professor Ken Yohn, chair of McPherson College’s Department of History and Politics, serves as host and instructor for the webinar. 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.

Each week on Zoom, Wheels Change will focus on fascinating topics from the advent of the automobile to its impact on war, globalization, and design. There is no cost for the series but space is limited and registration is required for each session. For more details about the series or to register go to

Campus mourns loss of student

Dustin FergusonMcPherson College is deeply saddened by the loss of one of its students. Dustin Ferguson, a freshman from Sterling, Colorado died January 7 at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. Dustin was a member of the Bulldog baseball team and majoring in sociology.

“We are heartbroken and are focused on taking care of our students during this time,” McPherson College President Michael Schneider said. “The entire McPherson College community is surrounding Dustin’s family with love and prayers.”

A campus vigil service will take place on January 12 at 7 p.m. in the small gymnasium at the Sports Center. A slideshow created by students who knew Dustin will be shown at the vigil and there will be time for sharing memories about him.

“Dustin made friends with everyone he came in contact with,” Ben Coffey, dean of students, said. “We will truly miss him. It’s important for all of us to support each other during this time, and my office is always open to assist students in making mental health or spiritual life connections.”

Dustin’s coach, Bryan Moses, got to know him during his short time on campus.

“As a coach, I feel lucky when a new student athlete comes along who embodies the values of my program and the college,” Moses said. “Dustin was an incredible person who put others ahead of himself. I watched this intelligent young man, with real goals, begin to make relationships with his teammates, create friendships, and add to our campus culture.”

The team will hang his jersey in the dugout this season to honor him and teammates will wear his number and take on his walk-up song. The team has also established an award that will be given each year on Senior Day called the “Trooper Award” (a family motto). The award will be issued to a player who exemplifies Dustin’s qualities of selflessness and lifting up others.

Details on a memorial service are forthcoming.

The college encourages students to seek guidance if they need help through the grieving process. The dean of student’s office can be reached for multiple methods of support during this difficult time. Students can also reach our professional partners at Client Centered Counseling by calling 620-241-2300.