Mason City Junior College, NIACC’s predecessor, was very important to the Gage family. Edgar Gage and his sons, Jon and Alan, all graduated from MCJC in 1932, 1958, and 1961 respectively.
To help future students have the opportunity for higher education, Edgar and Mildred Gage created the Edgar S. Gage Family scholarship in 1977.
“They thought education was very important,” Jon said of his parents. “My father, brother and I all graduated from NIACC and that’s one of the reasons we felt a tie to NIACC.”
Born in Iowa City, Edgar attended school in Mason City prior to earning his engineering degree from Mason City Junior College and Iowa State University. After graduation, Edgar joined his father’s accounting firm in Mason City until 1940, when he started his own firm. He merged with McGladrey, Hansen, Dunn and Company in 1959. Edgar left public accounting in 1947 to join the Surgical Associates of North Iowa, where he worked until his retirement in 1983.
Edgar was involved with several civic organizations, including the Mason City School Board, Hospice of North Iowa, the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA and the Planning and Zoning Commission. He was also active in the First Baptist Church.
Mildred, a native of Hannibal, Missouri, moved to Mason City as a child and attended school. Mildred and Edgar married in 1936. Mildred was a homemaker and mother to their sons, Jon and Alan. She was active in the First Baptist Church where she served as a deaconess and Sunday school teacher. She was also president of Church Women United, Hearthstone Club and Chautauqua Study Club.
Jon is now a retired CPA living in Greendale, Wisconsin and Alan is a retired civil engineer living in Seattle, Washington. Jon said the opportunity for higher education in Mason City was very important to Edgar because it allowed his family to obtain the initial portion of their education needed to pursue careers in their chosen fields.
Jon said the family enjoys hearing from recipients of the scholarship and knowing how it is helping them pursue higher education.