WOMEN OF MERIT

Palm Beach At­lantic Uni­ver­sity lun­cheon hon­ors Candy Car­son and Bon­nie McElveen-Hunter.

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

Au­thor Candy Car­son and for­mer am­bas­sador Bon­nie McElveen-Hunter were hon­ored as the 2018 Women of Dis­tinc­tion by Palm Beach At­lantic Uni­ver­sity.

The lun­cheon took place Feb. 22 at The Break­ers and in­cluded a jazz per­for­mance and mini­con­cert by the PBA Con­cert Choir.

Af­ter ac­cept­ing the awards, each hon­oree spoke briefly.

Car­son talked about es­tab­lish­ing the Car­son Schol­ars Fund more than 20 years ago with her hus­band, Dr. Ben Car­son, now U.S. Sec­re­tary of Hous­ing and Ur­ban Devel­op­ment.

“Teach­ers have told us that the grade-point av­er­age of the class that con­tains a Car­son Scholar goes up be­cause the stu­dents see that there is some­thing that they can shoot for,” Car­son said. “Fu­ture lead­ers need to be en­cour­aged.”

McElveen-Hunter dis­cussed her child­hood with her mil­i­tary pi­lot fa­ther and an in­domitable mother.

“She taught us that ‘can’t’ is a word that doesn’t ex­ist,” McElveen-Hunter said. “My foun­da­tion is re­ally my par­ents’ ex­am­ple. My mother ... in­stilled in us the power of per­sonal courage, the no­bil­ity of ser­vice and sanc­tity of fam­ily.”

McElveen-Hunter shared sto­ries about her ser­vice as U.S. am­bas­sador to Fin­land and as first fe­male na­tional chair­man of the board of the Amer­i­can Red Cross.

Pro­ceeds from the lun­cheon ben­e­fit a schol­ar­ship fund for fe­male

stu­dents at PBAU.

Dan and Denise Han­ley

Wil­liam and Pam Flem­ing

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