North Central College - Naperville, IL

Dane T. Scag

Class Year: 

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2010

Dane T. Scag ’41 put his name on a product that continues to be so successful that the name Scag stands for quality, reliability and innovation in the landscaping industry. After earlier careers in academia and industrial design and research, Dane invented a commercial lawn mower that set the standard in the industry because of its advanced and efficient design for negotiating tight areas around landscaping. He holds more than two dozen patents in the field. Dane launched his own business and served as president of Scag Power Equipment, Inc., from 1982 to 1991. He sold the company to Snapper in 1991. A few years later, he founded Great Dane Power Equipment, which he sold to John Deere in 2001. Dane also became an avid pilot and airplane owner, flying frequently to call on customers and demonstrate his mowers.

Dane received his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from North Central College and completed a master’s degree in physics from the University of Illinois in 1942. He later joined the teaching and research staff at Princeton University. Princeton offered Dane tenure and he was also offered the opportunity to be director of the newly opened Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. Instead, he accepted a position with Allis-Chalmers, a diversified manufacturing company based in Milwaukee, where he designed high-energy X-ray machines with military applications. Dane later was named vice president of research at McGraw-Edison Co., where he first tinkered with commercial lawn mowers.

He has remained a loyal supporter of his alma mater, establishing a scholarship fund for students in the sciences and donating his Colorado home and 75 acres to the College. He is a resident of Elm Grove, WI.