Madeline Pumariega's love for academics and service excellence began as a student at MDC and continued during her 20 years of service at the College in positions of ascending responsibility, culminating in her role as Wolfson Campus president.
An investiture is an academic ceremony steeped in tradition and protocol, symbolizing the pursuit of knowledge in higher education. The ceremony itself is defined as the “the formal transference of authority in a high office.” In addition to this historic purpose, Miami Dade College views the investiture of its new president, Madeline Pumariega, as an opportunity to welcome a new era in the life of the institution and to celebrate as a community.
The presidential investiture includes an academic procession of MDC’s faculty and staff as well as delegates from other colleges and universities. Participants in the processional wear colorful academic regalia representing their own institutions. The event also includes musical interludes along with greetings from members of the College, the higher education community, government and other honored guests.
Academic attire typically worn by the faculty and staff of today’s colleges and universities is based on a long history of tradition which began in medieval Europe. The gown was a common form of dress for varying ranks of people including scholars at universities. Over the centuries, the hood and cap also became distinctive parts of the academic costume, which then became known as regalia. As trades, professions, guilds and universities developed, variations indicated by colors and materials came into being to identify various affiliations.
Universities gradually modified the gowns, hoods and caps into distinctive forms to identify an individual’s level of academic achievement. In the late 19th century, American colleges and universities agreed upon a somewhat uniform application of academic regalia. Typically, scholars with bachelor’s degrees wear the unadorned black robe. Those with master’s degrees also wear a hood lined with the colors of their college and trimmed with the specific color designated for their academic discipline. The doctoral degree robe additionally has three velvet bars on each sleeve, and the hood is more ornate.
Faculty and staff members wear the traditional attire of the college or university that conferred their degrees.
The academic mace is an ornamental staff with distinctive symbols, having historical origins in ancient and medieval weaponry. Over time, the mace has become a symbol of peaceful leadership, with academic maces representing the authority invested in the president of an institution of higher learning by its governing board.
Ceremonial maces symbolize authority, learning and scholarship, history, reputation, and values. They commemorate elegance, honor, pageantry, purpose, quality, solemnity, stability and continuity. The Miami Dade College mace is a richly varnished mahogany staff with the College seal embedded into the head of the mace. The mace is traditionally carried at convocation and commencement ceremonies by the president or faculty member with the longest tenure.
For centuries, ceremonial Chains of the Office have honored the highest officials of educational institutions. Following in this tradition, college and university presidents wear specially designed chains and medallions as part of the pomp and ceremony at official public celebrations such as the inauguration of a new president.
During the investiture ceremony, the chain and medallion are placed around the president’s neck to represent the yoke of responsibility for the welfare of the institution. The president will thereafter wear the chain and medallion at all academic convocations, commencements and other ceremonial events requiring academic regalia.
The Miami Dade College presidential chain and medallion are forged in bronze and include a cast of the seal of the College with the year of founding, 1960. Along the chain are curved bronze banners with the names of each of MDC’s campuses in order of incorporation as well as the name of the fifth College president, Madeline Pumariega.
Faculty and delegates representing institutions of higher learning are invited to be part of the processional. Those participating in the processional must wear academic regalia, including the robe, hood and cap representing the institution from which they received their highest degree.
Upon arriving at the Adrianne Arsht Center, please check in at the main table. Staff will direct you to the robing area inside the Arsht Center. The room will be secure during the ceremony. If you arrive in your regalia, you will be directed to the processional line-up area.
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Tenure: 1959 – May 1962
In 1959, the late Kenneth R. Williams, president of Central Florida Junior College in Ocala, was appointed first president of the yet-to-be-opened Dade County Junior College. Williams hired 12 administrators and 39 full-time faculty to teach at a temporary campus while sites and architectural plans were developed and built out. Classes began on Sept. 9, 1960 with 1,428 students as the first junior college in the state of Florida to be integrated. He resigned in 1962 to become president of Florida Atlantic University, a new state university in Boca Raton.
Tenure: July 1962 – June 1980
In 1962, the late Peter Masiko Jr., a leader in the nation's junior college movement, was named the second president of Dade County Junior College after serving as dean at two Chicago junior colleges. During his tenure, MDC opened three major campuses – North, South (Kendall) and Medical Center – while it centralized some operations and grappled with desegregation and massive social change. Masiko led the institution through its formative years, overseeing tremendous growth and progress, including separation from the public school system and being governed by its own District Board of Trustees. The College was renamed Miami-Dade Community College in 1973.
Tenure: June 1980 – March 1995
In 1963, the late Robert McCabe joined the College as assistant to the president. He became the third College president in 1980, nurturing its growth to a five-campus institution. Under McCabe’s watch, the sprawling Kendall Campus would open in 1967 on Southwest 104th Street. McCabe led MDC into becoming the nation’s largest community college with campuses across South Florida. He left a mark on local and national education in opening the Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. He also founded The New World School of the Arts with Florida International University and Miami-Dade Public Schools. McCabe came to symbolize MDC and was recognized nationally as its advocate and creator as well as a respected innovator in the community college field. He instituted many “firsts” for students, faculty and the community while increasing access for minorities.
Tenure: September 1995 – August 2019
In 1995, Eduardo Padrón was named the fourth president of Miami Dade College and grew MDC into one of the largest institutions of higher education in America with more than 90,000 credit students. He elevated MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities. In just the first few years of the new century, the College celebrated its one-millionth student, received state approval to offer baccalaureate degrees, established the Honors College, opened several new campuses and centers, and saw the official name of the institution changed to Miami Dade College. In 2009, TIME magazine included Padrón on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2016, President Barack 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. He was credited with producing impressive results in student access, retention, graduation and overall achievement.
Tenure: August 2019 – November 2020
In August of 2019, Miami Dade College’s District Board of Trustees unanimously appointed former MDC trustee Rolando Montoya as interim president while the search for the College’s fifth president was underway. Prior to his retirement in 2016, Montoya served as Provost and Chief Operations Officer. During his three decades at MDC, he also served as Wolfson Campus president, dean of Academic Affairs, chair of Business, and professor of accounting, finance, economics and statistics.