MCPHERSON, Kan. (KSNW) — One family’s lifelong passion for cars has turned into an endowed scholarship at McPherson College.

This scholarship was presented to McPherson College with an initial gift of $400,000 in the name of Col. Daryl Hemken and his wife, Ann Hemken. It will be awarded as an annual scholarship to students in the automotive restoration program.

“The Hemken family’s love of cars is extraordinary, and their desire to support the next generation of automotive leaders assures that their family’s passion will continue well into the future,” McPherson College President Michael Schneider said. “The impact of their gift will be far-reaching, not only on the lives of our students but also on the automotive restoration industry that will benefit from our graduates.”

Mr. and Mrs. Hemken began buying and collecting cars shortly after they married in 1954. It initially started as a hobby for the couple before turning into a passion involving their entire family. This led to the founding of The Hemken Collection Museum in Williams, Iowa, where they lived. The collection was sold at an auction in September.

In addition to the endowed scholarship, the museum also hosted two McPherson College student interns to work for a summer preparing the collection for the auction.

“These scholarships acknowledge the Hemkens’ strong love of the automotive experience and belief in the value of education,” Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for automotive restoration, said. “In honoring Colonel and Mrs. Hemken with this gift, the family also honors the automotive experience that they all enjoyed together. And, they support a generation of students pursuing a career that carries on that love of the automobile.”

The automotive restoration program at McPherson College began in 1976. Funding for the program was provided by Gaines “Smoky” Billue, a local entrepreneur who was a nationally recognized and award-winning leader. This made McPherson the only college to offer a four-year bachelor’s degree for restoration technology in the country.

More information about the program can be found at www.mcpherson.edu/autorestoration.