Diana Lynn Snodgrass Olive
Growing up as the oldest daughter of a career U.S. Marine, Diana was raised in diverse setttings. While both born at Camp LeJeune NC and graduating from LeJeune High School she lived in various locations including Germany and Okinawa. With her father serving tours in Viet Nam, she learned responsibility from an early age as she worked part-time and helped care for her three younger siblings. Diana was active in student organizations and was a cheerleader at LeJeune High School from which she graduated in 1977. As a first-generation college student, she began college at ECU on a USAF ROTC scholarship but health issues medically disqualified her prior to graduation. As her family provided only limited financial support due to three children still at home, Diana worked at multiple jobs throughout college to cover expenses – working at times up to 36 hours per week at jobs including library assistant, biscuit maker at Hardee’s, and nursing assistant. Despite her heavy work load she maintained strong grades and graduated within four years.
Her primary professional love was critical care nursing. She worked in the critical care units at both Pitt County Memorial Hospital and Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton OH, completing the requirements for the CCRN certification. She served as the civilian critical care nurse educator at USAF medical center Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
After adopting her second child she took time off from nursing to focus on raising her two daughters. She served as a community volunteer in multiple capacities including PTA president, choral parent’s association secretary, Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School Director, and volunteer Christian camp nurse. While her brother was serving with the US Army in Iraq she organized Project Iraqi Smiles to collect and ship hundreds of pounds of items for US. Troops to distribute to local children.
Aside from her deep Christian faith, her other interests included gardening, collecting Russian nesting dolls, scrapbooking, writing, and the arts in general.
She returned to nursing for a brief time as a part-time clinical trials nurse but failing health precluded further employment. Nonetheless she provided volunteer nursing care to friends and family members in both end of life and post-operative recovery settings. Despite extreme health challenges she never lost her love for nursing, her commitment to helping others or her zest for life.
The Diana Snodgrass Olive Memorial Scholarship was established in 2010 in her memory to assist nursing students in reducing the need to work while students. This merit-based scholarship was created to support full-time or part-time students of ECU College of Nursing, with a preference in undergraduate students with financial need.