From left, Brad Vanden Boogaard, Garduno, former teammate Nina Kuleff, who graduated Saturday, and Jerry Olson. Another teammate Garduno played with, Valerie Boothe, who also graduated Saturday, took this photo.
**For Immediate Release**
An OPSU Success Story
Diana Garduno Credits OPSU with Achievement
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 05-22-07
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. — Commencement is often a bittersweet time for OPSU faculty and staff as they watch the young adults they have mentored over the years finally achieve an important, life-changing goal. One of last year’s graduates touched many lives at OPSU through her play on the basketball court, willingness to help tutor those struggling with coursework, and her generally sunny, outgoing disposition. Diana Garduno visited her alma mater recently and had the opportunity to reconnect with former teammates and coaches in the women’s basketball program. Finishing a bachelor’s degree requires an enormous effort, particularly when the student also competes in collegiate athletics, lives far from home, and holds a job on campus. Garduno, an El Paso native, did just that and commended OPSU for encouraging her success on and off the court. She said, “I want to thank everyone at OPSU for the dramatic impact on my life. I was able to do what I most loved - play basketball - plus I earned my degree. Thank you for making OPSU feel like home!”
She had particular praise for President Dave Bryant, Coach Jerry Olson, Coach “B” (Brad Vanden Boogard), and especially Jill Olson, whom she named “my mother away from home.” Olson, now head men’s coach, was Diana’s head coach during her playing time, and Coach B, now the head women’s coach, was Olson’s assistant during that time.
Diana currently teaches high school mathematics and coaches cross country and basketball at El Dorado High School in El Paso, and while she’s is not much older than her students, appreciates the fact she is now the teacher and gets to make the rules!
Congratulations on your success, Diana, and we are glad we could be a part of it.