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Benevolence Meets Gratitude in Automotive Restoration Lab

A generous benefactor to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s automotive restoration program recently toured campus, hearing from many of the students it has helped through scholarships and other funding.

Board members of the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum made their first visit to campus during the fall semester, touring College Avenue Labs and getting a look at the students and facilities in which they’ve invested.

“I wish everyone contributing to HEP – donors, collectors, vintage racers, shop owners, car clubs – could have been with us to see firsthand how their support has made a significant impact on Penn College,” said Diane Fitzgerald, national director. “Meeting this group of bright and engaging young restorers put all of us over the top! They were passionate, knowledgeable and appreciative.

Penn College automotive restoration technology student Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia, walks guests through the program’s multifaceted restoration process.
Penn College automotive restoration technology student Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia, walks guests through the program’s multifaceted restoration process.

“The facilities are well-equipped, organized and inviting. None of the success enjoyed here could happen without the dedicated faculty, led by Roy Klinger. Truly a fantastic and memorable day!”

Klinger is a collision repair instructor in the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies.

HEP (formerly known as The Collectors Foundation) has provided $20,000 in annual scholarship funds for automotive restoration technology students and $10,000 in “gap funding” for students’ living expenses while they serve their internships.

Diane Fitzgerald, executive director of the Hagerty Education Program at America's Car Museum, commends instructor Roy H. Klinger and students in the automotive restoration technology major during an October visit to Penn College.

Diane Fitzgerald, executive director of the Hagerty Education Program at America’s Car Museum, commends instructor Roy H. Klinger and students in the automotive restoration technology major during an October visit to Penn College.

Since 2005, it has awarded more than $2.75 million in scholarships and grants to dozens of automotive restoration educational institutions throughout the United States and Canada – including Penn College, which was provided with startup funds when the two-year major began in the Fall 2012 semester.

Recent scholarship recipients at the college are Jordan T. Hebert, of McClure; Jay M. Rhoads Jr., of South Williamsport; Ryan Russell, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York; and Brady A. Stevenson, of Hanover. Stevenson was also provided with “gap funding,” as were Joseph M. Kretz, of Plymouth, New Hampshire, and Vanessa Mathurin, of Philadelphia. Additional funds will be awarded in the Spring 2016 semester.

Ryan J. Haslett, an automotive restoration technology major from Warren, tells the tour group about a 1961 Cadillac Eldorado on loan to Penn Collegefrom the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon.
Ryan J. Haslett, an automotive restoration technology major from Warren, tells the tour group about a 1961 Cadillac Eldorado on loan to Penn Collegefrom the William E. Swigart Jr. Automobile Museum in Huntingdon.

“We are very grateful to the Hagerty Education Program for their support of our students and the automotive restoration program,” said Debra M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement at Penn College. “We were excited to host them on campus, so they could see and hear firsthand the results of their generosity.”

The group’s morning began with a tour of the restoration laboratory and a review of projects involving the students helped by Hagerty funding. The guests then moved to the automated manufacturing and rapid protoype labs, which offer exciting 21st-century machining applications for the quality replication of authentic, hard-to-find parts needed to restore a vintage vehicle.

A banner day in College Avenue Labs!
A banner day in College Avenue Labs!

Lunch at the college’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant was accompanied by “Young People, Old Cars: The Future of Restoration,” which included short presentations by Sean M. Hunter, of Livingston, New Jersey, and Preston T. Rose, of Berryville, Virginia. Hunter earned an associate degree in automotive restoration technology in May and is enrolled in the four-year applied management major; Rose plans to follow the same track, earning his two-year restoration degree in 2017 and continuing in the bachelor’s major.

For more information about automotive restoration technology, call the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies at 570-327-4516.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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