Rollins Welcomes 2011 Commencement Speaker Eduardo Padrόn

April 29, 2011

Eduardo PadrόnRollins College welcomes Eduardo Padrόn as its 2011 College of Arts & Sciences commencement speaker.

Padrόn arrived in the United States as a refugee at the age of 15. Since 1995, he has served as President of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 170,000 students. An economist by training, Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2010, Florida Trend magazine named him “Floridian of the Year.” He is the immediate past chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and is chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE).

Padrón’s pace-setting work at Miami Dade College has been hailed as a model of innovation in higher education. He is credited with engineering a culture of success that has produced impressive results in student access, retention, graduation and overall achievement. MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution in the United States, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans. He is nationally respected for his advocacy on behalf of underserved populations in higher education, and his in-depth research report, “A Deficit of Understanding,” highlights the funding crisis that threatens access for low-income and minority students. Padrón has also championed innovative teaching and learning strategies and developed support initiatives to ensure student success.

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 College has made in student access and success through pace-setting initiatives. The most recent recognitions include: “2008 Exemplary Award for Improving General Education,” Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS); “2008 Chancellor’s Best Practice Award for Academic Affairs,” Florida Department of Education; “2007 Savior of the Community,” New England Board of Higher Education; “2008 Green Cleaning Grand Prize,” Green Cleaning Network; “2008 Fourth Best College for Digital Transformation,” the Center for Digital Education; and “2008 President George W. Bush’s Higher Education Honor Roll” for service to the community.

Padrón is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and prestigious awards. The recent list includes the “2008 Charles Kennedy Equity Award,” Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT); “2008 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award,” American Council on Education; “2008 Innovator of the Year,” League for Innovation in the Community College; Chair Academy for Leadership Development’s “2005 Paul A. Elsner Award for International Excellence;” Hispanic magazine’s “2004 Hispanic Achievement Award in Education;” and the Association of Community College Trustee’s “2002 Chief Executive of the Year” award. He is a prolific writer with countless publications to his credit and serves on the editorial boards of The Presidency, University Business and Campus Technology. In addition, he is a guest columnist for Hispanic magazine and The Miami Herald.

He has been featured in People magazine as one of the world’s most influential Hispanics, in Hispanic magazine’s list of most powerful Latinos and in PODER magazine’s report on “Movers and Shakers.”

The College of Arts & Sciences commencement ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 8, at 10 a.m. in the Warden Arena at the Alfond Sports Center.

Learn more about the Crummer Graduate School of Business and Hamilton Holt School commencement ceremonies.

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