As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re honored to share the legacy of Dr. Daily Oliver.

In the early 60s, prior to his time at Solitude, Daily was the first African American to serve in the Utah Army National Guard. As a student and phenom track & field athlete at the University of Utah, Daily set records for the 100, 200, and 400-dash and competed in the 1964 Olympic trials.

Black history month photo of Dr. Daily Oliver teaching a ski lesson

Daily started skiing at Solitude with fellow national guardsman, Lowell Elmer (who’s still working at Solitude to this day after 55+ seasons). Shortly after, Daily began working at Solitude and became the first African American ski instructor to be certified by the Intermountain Ski Instructors Association and Professional Ski Instructors of America (ISIA and PSIA). He went on to achieve Level-3 certification and worked weekends as an instructor while obtaining his Ph.D. in Educational Foundations.

Daily was named one of the Top 100 Ski Instructors in the United States by Ski Magazine, but his contributions reached well beyond the mountain. He co-founded the Utah Coalition for the Advancement of Minorities in Higher Education and was honored by Black Scholars United of WSU. In 1979, Dr. Oliver was appointed to the State Board of Pardons by Governor Scott Matheson. As a brilliant educator, Dr. Daily Oliver built a career sharing his expertise at Weber State University while continuing to work as an instructor at Solitude for over three decades until his death in 1999.

Daily touched the lives of his students and colleagues, with several of them still working at Solitude today. Reflecting on their time together, Lowell Elmer said, “Daily, thanks for being my fellow military veteran, my friend, and colleague, allowing me to introduce you to the sport of skiing and then, becoming one of my mentors.”

Black history month photo Dr. Daily Oliver

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