HomeNews and EventsMcPherson College Garners $1.5B Endowment

McPherson College Garners $1.5B Endowment

School with automotive restoration program given unprecedented opportunities


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

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.”

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.”

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


  1. I’m a Kansas resident who has done a lot of business in McPherson. I can’t think of a nicer community to support the college and students with this endowment. I’m excited to discuss this with my grandsons as a possible career path!


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