SEMA Establishes Nat Danas Scholarship for Auto Trim & Restyling Students

Nov 12, 2012

SEMA has announced the establishment of the Nat Danas Scholarship, a new endowment that will provide financial aid to students in the auto trim and restyling industry. The scholarship, which will award $58,000 to deserving students, has been established as part of the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. The new scholarship was announced during the 2012 SEMA Show.

“We are excited by the prospect of offering Nat Danas scholarships to worthy students seeking to advance their career in the restyling industry,” said Joel Ayres, chairman of the SEMA Scholarship Committee, in a statement released by the association.

Danas founded Auto Trim & Restyling News in 1952 to serve the trim, restoration and restyling industries. A year later, he formed the National Association of Auto Trim Shops, which was the industry’s first trade association. He later produced numerous trade shows and events for trimmers and restylers, and was instrumental in founding the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO).

To read more about Danas’ contributions to the auto trim and restyling industry, click here.

The scholarship was initially established at a Midwest university in 1987 with a bequest of $25,000 raised at a restyling industry tribute to Danas, according to Ellen McKoy, a member of the Danas Scholarship Committee.

After that school’s auto-trim degree program was discontinued, the scholarship committee set its sights on moving the endowment to the SEMA Scholarship Fund.

“Nat’s knowledge and experience, combined with his dedication to education and training, had a profound impact on the trim and restyling industry,” McKoy said in the SEMA statement. “With this endowment, we know that Nat’s vision and legacy will live on in perpetuity.”

The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund is a nonprofit group dedicated to fostering industry leadership by supporting the educational pursuits of current and future automotive professionals. The Nat Danas Scholarship will be among the many scholarships SEMA awards annually to students pursuing careers in the automotive aftermarket. Potential applicants can apply now at, with applications due March 29, 2013.