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The Denise McCluggage Scholarship

The Denise McCluggage Scholarship

Denise McCluggage was a racing driver, journalist, author and photographer. She was a pioneer in her respective fields, paving the way for women in male-dominated industries. Denise passed away mid-May 2015 and left behind instructions for funds to begin a scholarship in her name.

During their senior year, McPherson College automotive restoration students complete an all-encompassing capstone project, applying the skills learned during their time in the program; these projects may be hands-on, or emphasis driven. In honor of the late Denise McCluggage and an initial contribution by the Santa Fe Concorso, Abigayle Morgan ’19 created the Denise McCluggage Scholarship for Woman at McPherson College to support women studying in areas that reflect Denise’s passions. This scholarship benefits women with an interest and passion for Automotive Restoration, Journalism, Photography, Communications, Media Arts, and/or Writing. Through Abigayle’s senior capstone efforts, McPherson College hopes to raise awareness of educational and career opportunities for women who love cars, just like Denise did.

In THe News

Scholarship Info


The scholarship will be awarded to a female student carrying a minimum GPA of 3.0, who has demonstrated passion and dedication in the fields of Automotive Restoration, Journalism, Photography, Communications, Media Arts, and/or Writing.

Application Process

Each February the Financial Aid office will communicate with students about the opening of the scholarship process. Students are required to complete an application and provide a brief statement of why they should be considered for this scholarship. The Financial Aid office collects the applications and will announce scholarship decisions by the end of February. Scholarships will be applied the following fall semester.

Contribute to the Scholarship


Emma Critz McCluggage Scholarship winner
  • “Denise McCluggage was such an interesting person and I was so surprised when my name was announced as the recipient.”

    Emma Critz '19,

    Emma Critz is a 2019 graduate of the automotive restoration program and the first Denise McCluggage Scholar, in recognition for her passion and dedication to the study of automotive restoration. She was born in upstate New York, but moved to Virginia as a child. Emma did not grow up around cars, but had exposure through movies and magazines. Her interest in restoration was sparked when her younger brother purchased a 1972 Ford Gran Torino and then began work on the car together. Emma was presented with the award at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance during the gala dinner.

Abigayle Morgan

Senior Project

Abi Morgan - '50 CrosleyAbigayle is a 2019 graduate of the automotive restoration program with a minor in communication. She grew up in the Chicagoland area and has had a love for cars since her youth. Her family collects Crosleys-microcars from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Abigayle races annually at the Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb, an event she has attended her entire life, in her bright yellow 1950 Crosley HotShot. While researching a topic for her senior capstone project, she discovered a need for scholarships geared specifically toward women, especially those in the arts and restoration programs.

“With the help of donors, I aspire to raise enough money to fund the Denise McCluggage Scholarship to support the women of McPherson College for years to come. I am so proud to be involved in a project that will benefit others, even after my graduation.” – Abigayle