New scholarship available for classic car enthusiasts

Printer-friendly version Posted Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:30

Alfred State students interested in restoring classic cars now have the opportunity to apply for one of two scholarships worth $2,500, thanks to a $5,000 donation from the RPM Foundation.

The RPM Foundation (RPM) is an educational grant-making program of America's Automotive Trust. RPM is funded by collector vehicle and classic boat enthusiasts to serve youth and young adults on their pathways to careers in automotive/marine restoration and preservation, along with the long-term interests of the collector vehicle and classic boat communities. Visit for more information.

The scholarship is available to two Alfred State students interested in pursuing a career in automotive restoration or actively engaging with the classic car community. Further eligibility requirements include:

The college is proud to announce that the first recipients of the scholarship are Liam DeChick, a motorsports technology major from Syracuse, and Jacob Derk, an automotive service technician major from Cattaraugus.

DeChick is a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and is the president of the Alfred State student chapter of AACA. He is currently restoring a significant race car. DeChick has participated in a number of events related to his passion for cars. He held a youth education course last February at the annual AACA meeting in Philadelphia, and was a navigator in the 2017 Great Race from Jacksonville, FL, to Traverse City, MI.

Derk is also an AACA member. He has a bachelor’s degree from Fredonia State and is following his passion for cars by attending Alfred State. Derk recently acted as a pit crew member with the nationally famous Donovan Motorcar Jaguar team at the Watkins Glen US Vintage Grand Prix during an RPM Foundation-sponsored event. He will be on the Alfred State Great Race team in June 2018, and is crew chief for the extensive preparations necessary to prepare the college’s Power Wagon for that event.

Automotive Trades Professor Mike Ronan, one of the instructors who will review and score the scholarship applicants, said, “The RPM Foundation has changed the educational landscape when it comes to learning the classic car hobby. Their widespread support across the country has enabled highly specialized programs to grow and succeed. In our case, we are fortunate to have the Foundation’s support to help two deserving students pursue their automotive passion at the college level.”

For more information on the scholarship and additional eligibility requirements, contact Patty Lewis at 607-587-3111 or at