There’s a little Kansas liberal arts school in a town of 14,000 that has an endowment that could make some Silicon Valley scenesters blush. Would you believe $1.5 billion? Yes, you read that right. How does McPherson College do it?
As Hagerty tells it, a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous promised that (s)he would donate $500 million if McPherson College could raise half that amount by June 2023. The school met the goal and, then, the Patron of the Great Unknown followed up on the promise by doubling it. That one billion, combined with McPherson College’s $250 million endowment and $342 million in fundraising, brings the total to $1,592,000 for a school with around 800 students.
Why does McPherson matter to you? It’s the only place in America were one can earn a four-year degree in automotive restoration. The program emphasizes the following:
– Historic automotive technology
– Automotive restoration management
– Automotive communications
– Automotive restoration design
– Automotive restoration technology
McPherson unrestored 300 S
Currently, the 150-odd students in the program are working on a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet to make the school’s first debut at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this coming August. Donated by Pennsylvanians Richard and Mary Hoperman, the unrestored Mercedes made an appearance during Pebble Beach Car Week before arriving at its new home in Kansas for restoration. “Our Mercedes-Benz 300 S will stand as a commitment to our mission to be the center of excellence for restoration education,” says McPherson on its website.
This past Friday, McPherson College’s president announced the endowment at an event last week. “Today is historic, not just for McPherson College, but for all small liberal arts colleges in America,” says Michael Schneider. “I am incredibly grateful to our anonymous donor for giving us an unprecedented opportunity — and responsibility — to build and implement our strategic vision of becoming a destination learning community.”
McPherson 300 S restoration
Barrett-Jackson has had an association with McPherson College since 1999, establishing several scholarships including the Nellie Jackson Scholarship (in honor of the matriarch of the Barrett-Jackson organization), available to female students in McPherson’s automotive restoration program. In addition to the three scholarships, Barrett-Jackson has provided internships for both students and graduates of McPherson.
“It is important to me and the industry to give young people a chance to learn these skills,” says Craig Jackson, Barrett-Jackson chairman and CEO. “I am proud we can provide opportunities for the restoration tech program to grow and add new people to the profession.”
This article, written by Diego Rosenberg, was originally published on ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of Motor Authority.