Event organizers rejected demands from demonstrators who did not want the hostess of the White House to be recognized for her community service at a special ceremony in Florida on Feb. 19.
Palm Beach Atlantic (PBA) University has dismissed complaints from protesters who tried to prevent Melania Trump from receiving the 2020 Woman of Distinction Award, for cherishing the community and family and preserving these ideals for future generations.
The university’s College Republicans group refused to be swayed by negative feedback from several students and faculty members that the first lady did not generously give to the local community.
“I have talked to other students who believe this will tank their chances at graduate school, and I definitely think they are overreacting but I understand their concern,” group Vice President Austin Gergen said according to the Daily Wire. “Overall, I think this was most likely a donor-oriented decision rather than a moral one.”
The remarks came despite Melania Trump being well documented by the White House for championing her “Be Best” initiative, which promotes children’s social and emotional well-being through focusing on eliminating cyberbullying, drug abuse, and other issues affecting them.
Student Graysen Boehning, who appeared to have no knowledge of “Be Best,” had accused Melania Trump of being unworthy of the award.
“This award has historically gone to women whose character and impact in Palm Beach have shaped the culture of our home, and I have not been convinced that the first lady’s character or impact here are worthy of that recognition,” Boehning said according to the publication. “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.”
PBA’s College Democrats group separately accused event organizers of becoming involved in federal politics.
“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,” group President Tyler Whitehead said.
However, the messages failed to achieve their objective and Melania Trump thanked everyone when she became the only first lady to receive the award.
“As the first lady of the United States, it is a great honor to serve the people of this incredible country,” Trump said according to The Hill. “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.”
The event organizer praised Trump as an “exquisite human being, a magnificent wife and life partner, a superb mother, and an outstanding first lady.”
“[She] represents us brilliantly in the United States and worldwide,” event co-chairwoman Eileen Burns said according to the Daily Wire. “Melania is a perfect example of a Woman of Distinction and we are most proud to honor her.”