McPherson College will collaborate with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) – considered the most respected research resource in the automotive industry – on a study into the future of transportation and mobility to create a new engineering, design and mobility program which builds 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 $500 million double match pledge.
The CAR study will explore a wide range of approaches to the future of mobility, including electrification, mobility ecosystems, urban planning, road design and more, to create a dynamic curriculum for the new program.
“For decades, the Auto Restoration Program at McPherson College has provided a unique experience for students interested in the history and hands-on restoration of classic cars,” said President Michael Schneider. “We want to build on this unique program and provide students with more opportunities based on what the future holds for transport and mobility. CAR will make sure we move in the right direction.”
CAR, a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, focuses on the future direction of the global auto 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 collaborations and relationships with automakers, suppliers, industry associations, government, nonprofits, labor organizations, and educational institutions to provide leading, thought-provoking, and impactful research.
CAR specializes in connecting the needs of the automotive industry with what academic curricula need to meet those needs. This includes analyzing courses, evaluating student preparation, and assessing facilities, classrooms, and equipment.
“CAR partners with academic institutions, automotive industry leaders and municipal organizations to understand the skills and competencies required of the future workforce,” said Alan Amici, President and CEO of CAR. “Our findings enable McPherson to create an academic program that meets the needs of students and employers in a rapidly changing environment. Today, there is a great need for student involvement in a company or project that benefits society. McPherson College recognizes this and values strong community involvement. We are excited to be working with McPherson College to bring all of these components together in the development of this new program.”
The Auto Restoration Program at McPherson College is 45 years old and is recognized as the only program of its kind in the country. 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 world. Current students are restoring a 1953 Mercedes Benz 300 S Convertible to compete in August’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The CAR study includes 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 curriculum recommendations. CAR will also consider additional certification programs to complement and enhance the new program. McPherson College will receive a final report at the end of May 2023.
To date, the college has raised nearly $150 million of the $250 million needed to secure the $500 million match, including a $50 million pledge from California philanthropists and car enthusiasts Melanie and Richard Lundquist. For more information on the $500 million two-for-one match applied to McPherson College endowments and endowment pledges, visit www.mcpherson.edu/500match.