Pataskala woman defies age, disabilities to get college degree

(Courtesy: Diana Taggart)

PATASKALA, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- One of Diana Taggart's biggest regrets was never getting her bachelor's degree. So, at 62 years old, she decided she'd fix that.

The 65-year-old from Pataskala got her degree from Ohio University on April 29, two-and-a-half years after she enrolled online.

"It was pretty awesome," she told ABC 6/FOX 28, fulfilling something she "wanted to do since she was a little girl."

Taggart applied and followed through with all the steps of pursuing her degree after her husband, Robert, asked her, "What's stopping you?"

One argument could've been her health. It was mandatory for her to take the courses online due to her disabilities:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis - A chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition also can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
  • Fibromyalgia - A disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
  • Sjogren's syndrome - A disorder of the immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth.

She said she's been on disability since around 2000 after her husband was transferred from D.C. Metropolitan area to Whitehall. Prior to that, she spent 14 years as a contracted data technician at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The other argument could've been the generation she grew up in.

"Girls didn't go to college back then, unless it was to become a teacher or a nurse?" she said.

Taggart also spent three years in the army.

She previously received her associate's degree in mathematical communication from Hagerstown Junior College (Maryland) in 1983.

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