An entire family’s passion for cars helped establish a scholarship to McPherson College with an initial gift of $400,000 in the name of Colonel Daryl and Ann Hemken. The permanent fund will award scholarships to students in the automotive restoration program each year.
“The Hemken family’s love for cars is extraordinary, and their desire to support the next generation of automotive leaders ensures that their family’s passion will continue into the future,” said McPherson College President Michael Schneider. “The impact of their donation will be far-reaching, not only on the lives of our students, but also on the automotive restoration industry which will benefit our graduates.”
The late Colonel Daryl and Ann Hemken began buying and collecting cars shortly after their marriage in 1954. What started as a hobby turned into a passion that involved their entire family and eventually led to the founding of the Hemken Collection Museum in Williams, Iowa. , where they lived. The collection was auctioned in September 2021.
Daryl Hemken began his military career in 1948 and spent 34 years in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1982. He earned a degree in agriculture from Iowa State University and moved to Williams in 1962 where he was a farmer until his retirement in 1994. Ann Hemken graduated from Cornell University and taught for 24 years. Their love for collecting cars began with a 1941 Model T Ford Roadster purchased in 1960. Over the years they have acquired over 150 automobiles and a large assortment of parts. The core of their collection included cars from every manufacturer in the United States made between 1947 and 1948. They opened the Hemken Collection Museum in 2000 where Ann pursued her love of education by giving tours to guests as well as by researching, cataloging and creating exhibits. for the museum. His commitment to education was a factor when the museum’s board considered venues to receive auction proceeds.
In addition to the generous donation, the museum also hosted two student interns from McPherson College to work for a summer preparing the collection for auction.
“These scholarships recognize the Hemkens’ great love for the automotive experience and their belief in the value of education,” said Amanda Gutierrez, Vice President of Automotive Restoration. “By honoring Colonel and Mrs. Hemken with this gift, the family is also honoring the automotive experience they all enjoyed together. And they are supporting a generation of students who are pursuing careers that continue that love of automobiles.