A spokesperson for the private Christian school said the award recognizes select women for their “charitable leadership of organizations that support the arts, education, healthcare and other community initiatives.”
The representative said it’s the first time the steering committee tasked with selecting honorees has chosen to recognize a first lady with the award. As part of the honor, Trump will also be recognized next month at a Women of Distinction luncheon, which the school has been hosting for more than two decades.
“As a Christ-first independent university, Palm Beach Atlantic emphasizes learning, leadership and service with its excellent academics and character-strengthening initiatives such as its nationally recognized community service program called Workship,” the school spokeswoman said.
“In fact, Workship, a coined term combining ‘work’ and ‘worship’ dates back to the University’s founding in 1968,” she continued. “To date, students have provided more than 3.5 million hours of volunteer service to non-profits, schools and churches. Palm Beach Atlantic’s emphasis on encouraging the potential of each person aligns with Mrs. Trump’s platform as First Lady.”
According to The Palm Beach Post, the event is scheduled to take place on Feb. 16. The school will reportedly be directing proceeds raised from the event to a scholarship fund for women.
Eileen Burns, one of the chairwomen behind the event, told the paper that “Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction and we are most proud to honor her.”
“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,” she also said.
“First ladies define the history of our country,” Frances Fisher, who also will be chairing this year’s event, told the paper. “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.”
Since becoming the nation’s first lady, Trump has set out to tackle issues like child well-being and cyberbullying under her “Be Best” campaign. Although the mission behind her effort has caught some heat from critics of her husband’s frequent usage of social media to target his detractors, she has continued to press on with the initiative.