Palm Beach Atlantic University Celebrates Women of Distinction

palm beach atlantic universityPalm Beach Atlantic University continued a rich heritage of generous, creative, persistent, energetic women when it celebrated philanthropists Ronnie F. Heyman and Lois Pope at the 30th anniversary of Women of Distinction on February 22nd.

Palm Beach Atlantic University honors previous winners

Previous Women of Distinction honorees Frances Fisher and Eileen Burns reprised their roles as co-chairs of the luncheon. The annual event raises money for scholarships for outstanding female students. About 360 people attended the celebration at The Breakers, Palm Beach. 

This year’s scholarship recipients are Sarah Foster, a junior from Jacksonville, Florida, studying molecular biology and biotechnology; Julissa Gonzalez, a senior from Orlando, Florida, studying psychology; Mai Homrich, a senior from Lake Worth, Florida, studying nursing; and Sarah Pouliot, a sophomore from Titusville, Florida, studying English and secondary education.

Audrey Gruss, a 2019 Woman of Distinction honoree, introduced Heyman. Heyman, a Palm Beach resident, earned a law degree from Yale and enjoyed a life of family, art-collecting and philanthropy before the unexpected death of her husband, Sam. Ronnie Heyman “did what she had to do” and took over as chair of GAF Corporation, the country’s largest manufacturer of roofing and building materials, Gruss said.

Fisher, a 2006 Woman of Distinction, introduced Pope, who “possesses deep integrity, vision and an extraordinary commitment to this community and our country.” Pope spearheaded the establishment of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation’s first permanent public tribute to living disabled veterans. 

Palm Beach Atlantic University, founded in 1968, is a private, Christian university, offering 64 undergraduate programs, numerous graduate degrees and professional degrees in nursing and pharmacy, with a 29-acre campus in West Palm Beach and an Orlando campus. The University is dedicated to the integration of Christian principles to prepare students for learning, leadership and service. Sailfish athletes compete in 18 NCAA Division II and Sunshine State Conference varsity sports.

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