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The Future of Nursing Just Got Brighter with a Historic $11 Million Donation to Miami Dade College


Surrounded by nursing students, Miami Dade College President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón (right) accepts historic donation from Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation members Arthur Hertz, Henry H. Raattama, Jr. and Louis Wolfson III.

Miami, October 7, 2008 - In what is one of the single largest gifts ever made to Miami Dade College (MDC), the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation has donated nearly $11 million to MDC to address the region’s nursing shortage. The donation, which includes matching funds, is aimed, in large part, at increasing the number of nurses who are trained at the college and placed into the local workforce.

The unprecedented donation will establish student scholarships and help with instructional costs and faculty salary incentives. In addition, the donation provides for technology initiatives to increase student retention and success. It also helps with licensure exam preparation to assist students with passing their required boards.

“This historic donation is a cause for celebration for the entire community,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “On behalf of current and prospective students, I thank the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation for this transformational gift, which will have benefits for generations to come as it will provide for greater healthcare in our region.” 

”Our community is in desperate need of qualified nurses,” added Louis Wolfson III, a trustee of the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation and a member of the Miami Dade College Foundation Board of Directors. “It is our goal, indeed our wish, to train local residents for these positions, so that employers do not have to recruit outside the region. By doing this, we will help resolve a crisis and open these great paying jobs to people who call Miami-Dade County their home.”

Arthur Hertz, an original trustee of the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation, commented, “This gift remains true to Colonel Wolfson’s vision for what philanthropy can accomplish. Providing a solid education will release people from the cycle of poverty. The donation to Miami Dade College will not only benefit hundreds of students, but will help relieve a critical nursing shortage in our community.” 

Over the years, the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation has donated nearly $90 million to the college, all for scholarships and program support. More than 145,000 scholarships have been awarded as a result of these gifts. This amounts to what is one of the largest collective gifts in higher education in the nation. The latest donation will help produce nearly 600 new nurses in the next four years, and will have a positive impact on the delivery of healthcare in the area for decades to come.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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