MDC Pres­i­dent Dr. Ed­uardo J. Padrón en­ter­ing Academy with Pres­i­dent Obama

South Florida Times - - METRO - Staff Re­port

MIAMI –Miami Dade Col­lege (MDC) Pres­i­dent Ed­uardo J. Padrón, one of TIME magazine’s “10 Best Col­lege Pres­i­dents,” in 2009, is join­ing a dis­tin­guished list of lu­mi­nar­ies, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, as a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of Amer­ica’s old­est and most pres­ti­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Both men will be in­stalled this fall, adding their names to a list of in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned leaders in­clud­ing Mar­tin Luther King Jr., Ben­jamin Franklin, Thomas Jef­fer­son, Ge­orge Washington, Ralph Waldo Emer­son, Maria Mitchell, Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell, John F. Kennedy, Ge­or­gia O’Ke­effe, John Hope Franklin, Martha Gra­ham and Aaron Copeland.

In­ter­na­tional mem­bers have in­cluded Charles Dar­win, Win­ston Churchill, Al­bert Ein­stein, Lawrence Olivier, Mary Leakey, John May­nard Keynes and Nel­son Man­dela.

As ex­pressed in its 1780 Char­ter, the Academy’s pur­pose is “to cul­ti­vate ev­ery art and science which may tend to ad­vance the in­ter­est, honor, dig­nity, and hap­pi­ness of a free, in­de­pen­dent and vir­tu­ous peo­ple.”

Dur­ing his ca­reer, Padrón has served on the na­tion’s most im­por­tant and pres­ti­gious boards. He is cur­rently a mem­ber or di­rec­tor of the Coun­cil on For­eign Re­la­tions; the Ur­ban In­sti­tute; the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ed­u­ca­tion (past Chair); the As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Col­leges and Univer­si­ties (past Chair); the Busi­ness Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Fo­rum (Past Chair) the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Univer­sity Pres­i­dents; and Achiev­ing the Dream and many oth­ers.

Padrón ar­rived in the United States as a teenage refugee in 1961. Since 1995, he has served as pres­i­dent of Miami Dade Col­lege (MDC), the largest in­sti­tu­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion in Amer­ica with more than 165,000 stu­dents. He is cred­ited with el­e­vat­ing MDC into a po­si­tion of na­tional promi­nence among the best and most rec­og­nized U.S. col­leges and univer­si­ties.

An econ­o­mist by train­ing, Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the Univer­sity of Florida. In 2016, Pres­i­dent Obama awarded him the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom, the high­est civil­ian honor in the U.S., for be­ing a prom­i­nent na­tional voice for ac­cess and in­clu­sion in higher ed­u­ca­tion. Dur­ing his ca­reer, he has been se­lected to serve on posts of na­tional promi­nence by five Amer­i­can pres­i­dents.

In­ter­na­tion­ally, Pres­i­dent Padrón’s ac­com­plish­ments have been rec­og­nized by nu­mer­ous na­tions and or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the Repub­lic of France, which named him Com­man­deur in the Or­dre des Palmes Académiques; the Repub­lic of Ar­gentina, which awarded him the Or­der of San Mar­tin; Spain’s King Juan Car­los II, who be­stowed upon him the Or­der of Queen Is­abella; Spain’s Prince and Princess of As­turias, Felipe and Le­tizia, who pre­sented him with the Juan Ponce de Leon 500th An­niver­sary award; and Morocco's King Mo­hammed VI, who ap­pointed him Hon­orary Con­sul in Florida of the King­dom of Morocco in 2016.

MDC en­rolls and grad­u­ates more mi­nori­ties than any other in­sti­tu­tion in the United States, in­clud­ing the largest num­bers of His­pan­ics and African-Amer­i­cans. Un­der Padrón’s lead­er­ship, Miami Dade Col­lege has re­ceived na­tional recog­ni­tion for its long­stand­ing in­volve­ment with its ur­ban com­mu­nity, its cat­alytic ef­fect for so­cial and eco­nomic change, and the marked dif­fer­ence the in­sti­tu­tion has made in stu­dent ac­cess and suc­cess through pace-set­ting ini­tia­tives.

Dur­ing his ca­reer, Padrón has also re­ceived nearly 20 hon­orary de­grees from top col­leges and univer­si­ties across the globe in­clud­ing Prince­ton, Brown, Rollins and oth­ers.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF US CHAM­BER OF COM­MERCE FOUN­DA­TION

PRES­I­DEN­TIAL HONOR: Miami Dade Col­lege’s pres­i­dent is be­ing in­ducted into the pres­ti­gious Amer­i­can Academy of Arts and Sciences in the fall along with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

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