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FAU Establishes Virginia Snyder Collection with Papers of One of FAU’s First Graduates

Snyder Became an Award-winning Journalist and Nationally Known PI

BOCA RATON, FL (October 8, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University recently received the personal papers of Virginia Artrip Snyder, a graduate of FAU’s inaugural class who went on to become an award-winning investigative reporter, a nationally known private investigator and a staunch advocate for justice and equality. The 91-year-old Delray Beach resident gifted her documents to the Wimberly Library, which established the Virginia Snyder Collection.

“It is an honor to house the papers of such a distinguished and interesting alumna of FAU,” said William Miller, Ph.D., dean of university libraries at FAU.    

After graduating from FAU in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in government and politics, Snyder worked as an investigative journalist with the Fort Lauderdale News, and later, the Boca Raton News, where she won seven national, state and local awards. She opened a detective agency in Delray Beach in 1976 and gained prominence as she investigated cold cases and cases of convicted or imprisoned inmates who she thought were innocent. As a community activist and volunteer, Snyder founded and for three years directed the South County Neighborhood Center at Boca Raton, which later was renamed the Mae Volen Senior Center. The nonprofit social services agency founded the Florence Fuller Day Care Center.

Snyder’s accomplishments earned her many accolades, including those from Florida governors Reubin Askew, who named her as one of 14 “Outstanding Women of Florida” in 1975, and Lawton Chiles, who named her as one of “Florida’s Finest” in 1996. Her work also landed her on such television shows as “20/20,” “Inside Report,” “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Today.”

The Virginia Snyder Collection is housed in Special Collections at FAU’s Wimberly Library. To review a guide to the collection, visit The materials in the collection can be used by appointment between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Special Collections at 561-297-2693 or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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