By Mona Salama
First Lady Melania Trump has been named Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 2020 “Woman of Distinction.”
“Our first lady, is an exquisite human being, a magnificent wife and life partner, a superb mother and an outstanding first lady, who represents us brilliantly in the United States and worldwide,” said co-chairwoman Eileen Burns. “Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction and we are most proud to honor her.”
The university a private Christian university in West Palm Beach, Florida, always honors two woman as honorees who have made significant contributions to the community each year at an honorary luncheon. This year, Melania will be the solo honoree.
A spokesperson of PBAU said it is the first time a First Lady was selected with the award by the steering committee.
The First Lady is being honored for her signature initiative — Be Best, that promotes well-being among children, while combating opioid abuse and online bullying. Melania announced her Be Best program in May 2017 and expanded the program during its one-year anniversary.
Melania has traveled across the United States and internationally to highlight Be Best by visiting hospital programs that help babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, schools, and worked with tech companies like Microsoft on online safety issues.
“First ladies define the history of our country,” said co-chair Frances Fisher. “We are honored to recognize Mrs. Trump as a Woman of Distinction and the only first lady since Mrs. Kennedy to be a Palm Beach resident. This will be a truly memorable event.”
Past honorees include Candy Carson, the wife of Housing Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bonnie McElveen-Hunter; fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau; Barbara Nicklaus, the wife of professional golfer Jack Nicklaus; and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation founder Nancy Brinker.
The 29th annual event takes place Feb. 19 at The Breakers in Palm Beach. Proceeds benefit a PBAU scholarship fund for female students.