March 29, 2024

Palm Beach Atlantic University Hosts Anita McBride in a Riveting Discussion on the U.S. First Lady’s Role


West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 28, 2024) – The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) was graced with the presence of Anita B. McBride, a notable figure with over three decades of experience in the White House and State Department, for an insightful conversation entitled “The Evolving Role of U.S. First Ladies.” The event, held on March 26, 2024, at the Lassiter Rotunda at PBA’s Warren Library, drew a diverse crowd eager to understand the First Lady’s role in American history and politics.

Before the main event, McBride engaged in a fireside chat with PBA students, offering a rare glimpse into her extensive experience and personal reflections. As the program commenced, McBride took a moment to honor PBA, commending the institution’s steadfast dedication to “Workship” – the university’s distinctive community service program, which celebrates four million hours this spring– and its impressive record of producing Fulbright scholars, a program near to her heart from her time serving on its board. She heralded PBA as the type of higher education institution the United States needs, one that not only focuses on academic excellence but also fosters a strong commitment to service and global engagement.

“Congratulations to your university and to all of you. No matter what field you choose to go into after you leave this university, you have enhanced your career path already,” said McBride. “I am quite sure for the rest of your life you will make volunteer service a part of your life. That is the American way. You are living out the ideals we were founded on and are known all over the world as our nation inches towards its 250th birthday in 2026. Keep shining your light. You all give us hope for what our future can be, and one thing I know is that some of our greatest champions for volunteerism in our country have been our First Ladies.”

During the program, McBride was interviewed by former U.S. Senator and Founder of the LeMieux Center for Public Policy George LeMieux and renowned Philanthropist and Vice Chair of the LeMieux Center for Public Policy Advisory Board Frances Fisher, who was instrumental in orchestrating Anita McBride’s appearance at PBA. 

“PBA was honored to welcome Anita McBride for a captivating dialogue about the role of the First Lady,” said Fisher. “As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I encourage the community to reflect on the impact that First Ladies have had on our nation’s past, present, and future. May we all be inspired to build lasting legacies as we commit to bold service and lifelong learning.”

LeMieux and Fisher explored a range of topics through their questions, from McBride’s unique perspective as an author and scholar, including the origins of the college textbook she co-authored, the evolution of the title “First Lady,” the most inspirational First Ladies, and the decision to write her second book. McBride shared intriguing anecdotes and reflections on her journey to co-author “Remember the First Ladies: The Legacies of America’s History-Making Women” and “U.S. First Ladies: Making History and Leaving Legacies.” Attendees gained an exclusive look into the inspiration behind her works and the profound influence of First Ladies that extends beyond their time in the White House.

“The role of First Ladies begins to evolve for different reasons in periods of our country where there were certain movements such as temperance movements, [and] labor movements are starting to erupt. First Ladies were engaging in these things. Slow, steady progress toward women’s rights. For example, when asked to help raise money for Johns Hopkins Medical School, Caroline Harrison said yes, but only if you begin to admit women. This was way ahead of her time.”

Following the interview session, McBride gave away 100 signed copies of her new book.

For further information about upcoming events at PBA, please visit



Mission of the LeMieux Center for Public Policy 

The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University provides a space for reasoned, thoughtful, and civil discourse on pressing public policy issues confronting Florida, the United States, and the world. Learn more about the mission of the center and other upcoming events here.

About Palm Beach Atlantic University 

Palm Beach Atlantic University, founded in 1968, is a private, Christian university, offering 100 different programs and pathways, including undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees and professional degrees. The university has a 19-acre campus in West Palm Beach and an Orlando campus, and the 78-acre Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus provides facilities for training and hosting intercollegiate sports. Sailfish athletes compete in 18 NCAA Division II and Sunshine State Conference varsity sports. PBA affirms the values that have built American society, including religious liberty and the free enterprise system. The university is dedicated to the integration of biblical principles to prepare students for learning, leadership, and service. Learn more at  


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