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Grandmother of Four Returns to Tennessee State and Graduates After 55 Years

By January 27th, 2021No Comments
Grandmother of Four Returns to Tennessee State and Graduates After 55 Years
John and Darlene Mullins will celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary in August. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Darlene Mullins began her journey on Tennessee State University back in 1962. A grandmother of four, she’s always taught her children to finish their goals.

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But for Darlene, love got in the way, she said in an interview with TSU Newsroom. This August, she’ll celebrate her 54th wedding anniversary.

“I came to TSU because I ran track. I wanted to go to the 1964 Olympics,” Darlene said. “Wilma Rudolph was my idol and I was on my way. I get to TSU and meet the great coach (Ed) Temple, but we bumped heads, because I had to make a choice between his track team or Mr. John Mullins.”

And while its taken Mullins some time, this Saturday, May 6th, the 72-year-old grandmother will get her dream come true and graduate from Tennessee State University.

“Something kept nagging at me,” she said in the interview. “I always told my children to make sure they finish what they started and I kind of felt it was time to live up to my own advice.”

Not one to not finish her goals, Mullins and her husband moved back to Nashville in July 2013, allowing her the opportunity to pursue her degree in interdisciplinary studies. Sometimes she took as many as 20 credit hours per semester.

Before leaving TSU, Mullins had accumulated 25 credit hours, which allowed her to graduate in four years. She will graduate as a member of three honors societies, and summa cum laude.

“My graduation from college, for me, confirms that I completed what I started more than 50 years ago,” Darlene said. “I am happy.”

Let’s congratulate Darlene Mullins for this major accomplishment. Share a moment where you had to go back and finish something over time.
Grandmother of Four Returns to Tennessee State and Graduates After 55 Years
Mike “Orie” Mosley is the managing editor for and a cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the founder of In his spare time, he’s probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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