McPherson College’s Automotive Restoration Program Crosses $1M Finish Line Early


McPHERSON, KAN. – McPherson College has announced that it raised $1 million in gifts and pledges to meet the $1 million challenge goal set by Florida philanthropist and automotive enthusiast, Dano Davis. Additionally, the college met the challenge three months ahead of schedule, according to Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for automotive restoration.

“One of the goals for this project was to make sure that everyone had a chance to participate,” she said. “This milestone was achieved through the generosity of many alumni and friends with gifts at all levels. And it included a lot of first-time donors as well.”

The college announced the donor challenge in June. The Davis gift supports developing business workshops that enhance the curriculum in the restoration major and scholarships to students in the restoration management track. The gift allows the program to explore other creative ways for students to experience multiple facets of the collector car world by working with industry professionals to share their knowledge.

“I was motivated to support McPherson College and specifically the automotive restoration program after visiting the campus and meeting several of the students there,” Davis said. “I wanted to motivate others and help them see the importance of generously supporting an endeavor that preserves the skills and knowledge to work on historic automobiles.”

The Davis gift is a major piece of the $20 million Building Community comprehensive fundraising campaign. A key component of this multi-year campaign is to increase funding for academic programs like auto restoration. Launched in 2019 with more than 50 percent of the goal met, the Building Community campaign will surpass its $20 million goal.


Davis was the principal owner of Brumos Motorcars, a successful dealership group, and Brumos Racing, which fielded a team for many years with drivers such as Hurley Haywood, who is tied with five wins as the most successful driver at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Davis’ family founded the well-known grocery store chain, Winn-Dixie. The chain grew to 1400 stores in 13 states and $14 billion in sales. They sold the company in 2011.

In 2020, Davis opened The Brumos Collection, a collection in Jacksonville, Florida that focuses on the development of the automobile and the Brumos Porsche racing legacy.


McPherson College is committed to its mission “To develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service,” in a career-focused liberal arts environment. It’s been recognized nationally by US News & World Report, Money Magazine, and the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For.” Its Automotive Restoration program is the first four-year degree program of its kind and awarded the prestigious industry supporter of the year by International Historic Motoring. Learn about all of its programs at

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