By Sherrie R. Whaley,

(4-3-22) Mercer County students will soon benefit from the Paul A. Mahle Scholarship Fund at The Ohio State University. The scholarship will support first-year undergraduates in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) who were involved in 4-H or FFA.

The $250,000 fund was recently established by Mahle’s son, Dennis, and his wife, Deborah, of Venice, Florida. They want to honor Paul’s memory by funding passionate students who share in his love of learning and agriculture.

Mahle, who died in 1979 at age 58, was a high school educator who taught chemistry, physics, and advanced algebra for more than 40 years. He taught in Dayton, New Carlisle, Celina, and St. Henry, with many years at spent at Immaculate Conception High School in Celina and St. Henry High School in Mercer County.

Dennis said –

‘He never stopped learning and always pushed his students to think through and solve the problemHe was a practical joker and often would set up the class with a prank in his chemistry and physics labs. Through his wit and dedication, he challenged and inspired his students.”

The World War II veteran was born in Jackson County. Mahle first graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton, then received his master’s degree in physics from Ohio State.

A farmer at heart, he raised his four children on a 40-acre farm outside of Celina where he raised corn, soybeans, and wheat. The family also had beef cattle, hogs, sheep, and chickens.

“He was a big advocate of 4-H and all four of us annually had crop and animal projects.”

…said Dennis, whose siblings include Margie Mahle of Kettering, Tom Mahle of Celina, and Ken Mahle of Upper Arlington.

Mahle loved teaching and had a passion for agriculture which is why this scholarship would be so important to him, his son said. Mercer County is a rural farming community located in far west central Ohio on the Indiana border. “Many do not have the opportunity to go to college and I think this would make him happy to help deserving students,” Dennis said.

Ohio State will have the flexibility to divide the money between Mercer County students, or award it to one deserving student from the county. The college scholarship application period is open from October 1 through February 15 each year. More information about CFAES scholarships can be found at

As the cornerstone college at Ohio State, CFAES is uniquely positioned to shape our world by impacting the food, agricultural, and environmental industries with its student-first approach, leading research, and wide-ranging outreach. Our students are scientists, environmentalists, educators, entrepreneurs, inventors, and business leaders. Our work affects the food we consume, the ground we stand on, and the future of our very existence.