Miami Dade College (MDC) has announced that its president, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce during the Hispanic Leadership Awards luncheon on Friday, March 22.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized with this award from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a leading organization in the region,” said Padrón. “Accolades like this motivate all of us at MDC to keep working harder to make quality higher education accessible to all. It is an award I accept on behalf of all the faculty, staff and students at MDC. I also congratulate MDC alumna Liliam M. Lopez, the Chamber’s president, for all of her work at the chamber and in the community.”
A teenage refugee who immigrated to the U.S. in 1961, Padrón has served as MDC’s president for over two decades. Padrón is credited with uplifting Miami Dade into a position of national eminence among the most esteemed and recognized colleges and universities across the country, according to a Miami Dade release.
Padrón is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, such as being bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 by President Barack Obama.
He currently serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Urban Institute and the Spencer Foundation; RC 2020; the International Association of University Presidents; and Achieving the Dream. He has previously held leadership positions on the boards of the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta, Miami Branch; the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the White House Commission on Educational Excellence; Campus Compact; Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; The College Board; and the White House/Congressional Commission of the National Museum of the American Latino.
Padrón’s efforts at Miami Dade has been deemed a model of innovation in higher education. The college enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other higher ed institution in the country, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans. He has announced that he is retiring from his posts at the end of the academic year.