First Graduates of FAU Inducted into Majestic Owls Society

In April 1965, just seven months after opening its doors, Florida Atlantic University presented degrees to 30 students in its very first commencement ceremony.

First graduating class of FAU in 1965.


By brittany-sullivan | 11/10/2015

In April 1965, just seven months after opening its doors, Florida Atlantic University presented degrees to 30 students in its very first commencement ceremony. Because there was no appropriate facility on campus for this event, the ceremony was conducted at the First Presbyterian Church of Boca Raton. Now, 50 years later, the FAU Alumni Association will honor the University’s first graduates by inducting them into the inaugural class of the Majestic Owls Society. With each passing year, a new class reaching the 50th anniversary of graduation will be inducted into the Society.

Several alumni from that 1965 class of 30 will be in attendance for the induction ceremony, which will take place Friday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Marleen and Harold Alumni Center, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

“Any time our ‘owls’ return to the nest is an exciting time, but it is particularly wonderful to have the opportunity to welcome members of FAU’s first graduating class and induct them into the Majestic Owls Society,” said Pat Breman, interim assistant vice president of alumni affairs at FAU. “These owls are trailblazers as they are the very first members of the Majestic Owls Society and were the first to graduate from this esteemed institution.”

Some of the notable alumni who will be in attendance and inducted into the Majestic Owls Society include:

Virginia Artrip Snyder: An acclaimed private detective, Snyder graduated from FAU in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in government and politics. She went on to work as an award-winning investigative reporter and private eye. Snyder was the inspiration for the long-running television series “Murder She Wrote.” She was named an Outstanding Woman of Florida by Gov. Reubin Askew in 1975, one of “Florida’s Finest” by Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1996, and this year she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Holly and Martin Mounier: FAU sweethearts, the Mouniers have four FAU degrees between them. Holly received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1965 and her Master of Education degree in 1968. Martin graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in 1965 and he received his Master of Education degree in 1966. The couple currently resides in St. Augustine.

Brian Silk: Silk received his Bachelor of Science degree from FAU in 1965. He retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain in surface warfare in 1996 after 31 years of service on active duty, and spending 17 years at sea on eight different ships.  Silk’s shore duty stations included a tour on the chief of naval operations staff at the Pentagon, with his final station being on the staff of the chief of naval education and training in Pensacola. Silk, and his wife, Sharon, remained in Pensacola following his retirement where they currently reside.

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