Woman, 76, Will Graduate from YSU after 58 Years

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – After 58 years, 76-year-old Diane (Lederle) Dull will graduate from Youngstown State University with a bachelor’s degree in general studies. 

Her family will attend the spring 2024 commencement to celebrate her major life milestone with her.

Dull had originally pursued her degree in education starting in fall 1966. 

“When I began my academic pursuit, the university was still just Youngstown University,” Dull said. “We were operating in quarters rather than semesters.”

As she entered her junior year, she was offered a teaching position at Beaver Local, where she taught second grade for three years. She also taught for two years at West Point and one at Elkton. “After that, I stopped school. I had to get married and stop to have my children,” Dull said. 

She never completed her degree at YSU.

To maintain an active teaching license, Dull needed to return in the summers for recertification courses offered through YSU, earning college credit for each course. After three summers, she did not return to recertify her teaching license, wanting to tend to family and, ultimately, she left teaching entirely. 

“It felt impossible. I felt I had to give up on it. I just didn’t think I would be able to complete my degree,” she said.

Eventually, as her children began to pursue college degrees of their own, Dull bought a business and began to run her own beauty salon. 

“I owned and managed my business for over 22 years. I earned a lot of experience using Quickbooks and payroll,” she said.

She had more than 10 employees in her salon, but the business closed due to complications from Covid.

Last summer, Dull connected with a YSU faculty member and family friend who encouraged her to contact the university to learn more about the Prior Learning Assessment at YSU, a method used to evaluate learning that has occurred outside of the traditional academic environment as a means to earn college credit to be used toward the completion of a degree.

Dull looks forward to her commencement.

“This is something I have always wanted to do, and for the first time in many years, I have the time to think about myself, you know?” she said. “Some people want to go to Europe, but this is mine. I didn’t think it would ever happen, and here I am.”

Spring 2024 commencement ceremonies will take place Saturday and Sunday on the YSU campus. The full schedule can be viewed HERE.

Pictured at top: Diane (Lederle) Dull will graduate from YSU with a bachelor’s degree in general studies. (YSU)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.