The Ohio State University Alumni Association

2021 Alumni Awards

Scott Gale ’90 — Ralph D. Mershon Award

Presented to alumni who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to The Ohio State University.

headshot of Scott Gale

Mentoring current and future Buckeyes

Scott Gale ’90 always knew he wanted a career in government. He had hoped to attend college in Washington, D.C., but needing a more affordable opportunity, he chose Ohio State. “It wound up absolutely being the best choice and exceeded everything I could have wished for,” Gale says.

That discovery spurred his passion: mentoring prospective and current Ohio State students.

At work, where he is chief deputy clerk of courts for Akron Municipal Court District, employees bring their children to him, knowing he’ll provide tips for college. Residents at his condominium association ask him to help their children prep for the SAT and ACT. And once students are enrolled at Ohio State, Gale encourages, advises and links them to scholarships, internships and jobs.

Why is mentoring important to you?

Mentoring is extremely important to me because I’m a first-generation college student. The first time I arrived on the Ohio State campus was orientation, and I didn’t know what to expect. Helping students, especially in their junior and senior year of high school, to get ready for college — that’s very meaningful. I want them to have what I didn’t always have and to see how many opportunities are out there.

What don’t most people know about you?

Quite simpIy, I struggled throughout my education. Everybody thinks it comes easy to me because I’m always preparing and reading, but I have to work harder to get things done. I had a reading disability, and it has taken a lot to overcome that. I work very hard to make sure that I’m educated on what’s going on, so I spend a lot of time preparing for board meetings. Whether I’m a presiding officer or a board member, I want to do well.

What do you consider your biggest achievement?

Being part of the team the helped change Ohio’s constitution and created a $200 million parks and natural resources bond issue in 1993. To get that funding, we had to get it on the ballot. People had been trying for 24 years and it kept failing, but our team was able to do it. It passed overwhelmingly and created the NatureWorks program, which provides grants for parks and natural areas. I smile whenever I see the NatureWorks symbol.

See all 2021 Alumni Award honorees