McPherson College Automotive Restoration opens new on-campus research center in honor of classic car restoration expert Paul Russell and Company

Before the eyes of a host of campus community members and industry partners, McPherson College opened the Paul Russell and Company Center for Automotive Research on May 6, 2022.

The Research Center, made possible by a generous gift from Richard and Melanie Lundquist, LHD, encompasses the entire south wing of the upper floor of the Miller Library in a newly renovated area. The new space is named after Paul Russell and Company, the renowned classic car restoration company that has won top prizes at the world’s most prestigious competitions, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Ville d’Este. Paul Russell has served on the McPherson College Auto Restoration National Advisory Board for 20 years and is currently Chairman of the Board. Throughout his tenure on the board, he hired numerous interns and staff from McPherson College.

“I hope that students will take the opportunity to discover what is in this collection, to encourage ‘time travel’ and that it will become a place to browse and discover even when you don’t. you don’t have to be there,” Paul Russell said of the new library. “The history of the automobile is intertwined with our human history and reflects and influenced all aspects of 20th century life. Studying it only enhances the practicality of restoration work by providing an understanding of the lives and times of the people who designed and built the cars when they were new.

The auto restoration collection contains around 25,000 documents, including sales brochures from nearly 100 different manufacturers dating from 1908 to the present day and original Duesenberg blueprints. Other types of material in this collection include classic automotive repair manuals, periodicals, and books on a variety of automotive topics. The new space leaves much more room for student research within the library. Resources in the open section can be borrowed from the library, while items in the special collection section remain in the library with access granted by library staff.

“At any time, you can find students from all academic disciplines using the renovated space,” said library director Kristie Sojka. “It’s brighter, which makes materials more accessible and easier to find, and the new furniture offers a variety of comfortable ways for users to spend time researching.” The space helps the library move forward in achieving our goal of creating a welcoming atmosphere while providing academic and social spaces where students, faculty, and staff can connect with information and each other. with the others.

The dedication helped kick off McPherson College’s annual Automotive Weekend on May 6-7, the culmination of the academic year when students, alumni and industry partners from across the country come together to celebrate the automobile. Other activities include the annual CARS Club car show, a student-run automotive event on campus, and a Cruise-In held on Main Street in McPherson.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the grand opening of this facility on our campus,” said Amanda Gutierrez, Vice President of Automotive Restoration. “We are grateful to Melanie and Richard for choosing to honor Paul Russell and Company in a way that has such a direct impact on our students and faculty during the learning process.”

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