The USHCC is overjoyed to learn that Dr. Eduardo Padrón, President of Miami Dade College (MDC), will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama on November 22nd.
Dr. Padrón is being honored for his stewardship of Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest and most inclusive institution of higher education. With more than 165,000 students, the college enrolls and graduates a greater number of Hispanic and African-American students than any other school in the country.
The Medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant endeavors. Previous honorees include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Steven Hawking, Frank Sinatra, astronaut Neil Armstrong, Sec. Madeleine Albright, and Dr. Maya Angelou.
Indeed, the work of Dr. Padrón merits a distinguished honor from our President. Throughout his decades-long career, he has always been passionate about ensuring that all students are given access to high quality, affordable higher education that opens their path to lifelong success.
As President of MDC, Dr. Padón promoted innovation in teaching and learning strategies, with a culture based on excellence and achievement. He oversaw the expansion of higher education opportunities for tens of thousands of students from minority communities, especially those with low-income backgrounds.
Dr. Padrón was appointed to serve as Chairman of the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans by President Obama, as well as various other roles under six past U.S. Presidents.
He has received 15 honorary doctorates from institutions such as Princeton and Brown universities, as well as numerous honors, such as a Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques in France, a member Order of San Martin in Argentina, and a member of the Order of Queen Isabella in Spain. He was also awarded the prestigious Juan Ponce de León Award by King Felipe VI of Spain.
He also served as Board Chair at the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the Business Higher Education Forum.
When the USHCC brought our 2016 National Convention to Miami, Dr. Padrón provided vital assistance in helping us host the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America.
Dr. Padrón is a trailblazer, using his incredible leadership to help Miami Dade College expand educational opportunities for all communities. The USHCC congratulate our dear friend Dr. Eduardo Padrón on this well-deserved achievement.