Creating a Legacy at UCO
UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA ALUMNA DIANNE BUSCH HAS LIVED A LIFE centered on education. Inspired by her grandmother and mother, who both received their degrees from Central State, Busch began her Central education in 1964.
Thanks to a student loan and an on-campus job in the work-study program, Busch was able to live on campus and enjoy the college experience while residing in both Murdaugh Hall and West Hall. Because of an interest in sports, she chose health and physical education as a major with an English minor. Central offered her the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports through intramural and intercollegiate (varsity) programs, as well as recreational sports through the Women’s Recreation Association.
In 1968, she graduated a semester early from Central State and sought employment at Del Crest Junior High School in Del City. There, she taught physical education and English and sponsored the school’s cheerleading squad. While she enjoyed her time at the junior high level, she felt called to continue her education and enrolled in a master’s program through Oklahoma State University (OSU). There, her job as a graduate assistant helped fund her studies in the Department of Health and Physical Education.
After earning her master’s degree in 1971, she embarked on a 34-year teaching career at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford, Oklahoma. At SWOSU, she taught a variety of courses, coached varsity sports and sponsored several philanthropic efforts, as well as serving on the Faculty Senate. During her tenure, she felt the need to continue her education and pursued a doctorate in education at OSU.
She continued teaching at SWOSU while taking doctoral-level classes and earned the prestigious degree in 1981. Busch enjoyed her years of university service and the small-town feel of Weatherford. Upon her retirement from SWOSU in 2005, she moved back to Edmond where she enjoys playing golf with friends and gardening.
Reflecting on how greatly she benefited from education, Busch began researching how she could positively impact others who are seeking their own. She opted to create an endowed scholarship at UCO through a planned gift. The Dr. Dianne L. Busch Endowed Scholarship was launched last summer to benefit students in any college who maintain a good GPA and are on track to graduate.
In addition to education, Busch prides herself on her involvement with both state- and national-level organizations. As a result of her affiliation, she has received several awards including the Distinguished Former Student Award through the UCO Alumni Association and the Honor Award from the Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
When reflecting on her Central legacy, Busch hopes each student who receives the scholarship she founded appreciates the effort that was made. For it was such scholarship offerings that allowed her to fulfill each of her educational goals and instill her passion for learning into countless students throughout her more than three decades of dedicated teaching and coaching.