First Lady Melania Trump received the “Woman of Distinction” award from Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) on Wednesday, where students protests failed to keep her from the honor.
Speaking at the university’s annual Women of Distinction luncheon, Mrs. Trump said she was honored to receive the award, which recognizes women “who cherish community and family and what to preserve these ideals for others.”
“As the First Lady of the United States, it is a great honor to serve the people of this incredible country,” said the First Lady as she promoted her Be Best initiative, which seeks to curtail cyberbullying and opioid abuse among children.
“When we teach our children to cherish our values and care for each other, they are better prepared to carry on Americans’ legacy of compassion, service, and patriotism,” she said.
According to Daily Wire, Melania Trump is the only first lady thus far to receive the honor. Upon announcing her name, the university said that her platform aligns with the school’s “emphasis on encouraging the potential of each person.”
However, not everyone was pleased with the decision. Tyler Whitehead, president of the school’s College Democrats group said the “vast majority” of students and faculty were displeased.
“The vast majority of students and faculty that I have spoken to about the decision were disappointed by what seems to be a politically-motivated move on the university’s part,” Whitehead said in a statement.
One student, Graysen Boehning, told The Hill that Melania Trump’s character was not reflective of the community.
“This award has historically gone to women whose character and impact in Palm Beach has shaped the culture of our home, and I have not been convinced that the first lady’s character or impact here is worthy of that recognition,” one student, Graysen Boehning, told The Hill. “While many students were excited that the school was bringing in the First Lady of the United States to speak, others felt that her character was not representative of the community of love for people of all backgrounds and beliefs that PBA houses and fosters.”