February 2015, Volume 19, Number 1

Powerful Partnerships


A Concrete Symbol of Reunification

Under the solemn drizzle of a fall thunderstorm, Miami Dade College unveiled a massive portion of the Berlin Wall at Wolfson Campus on Nov. 9, the 25th anniversary of the toppling of that austere dividing line between democracy and totalitarianism.

“Twenty-five years ago the Berlin Wall came down, a Wall that had separated East and West Germany, and served as a symbolic and physical boundary between people – people who really had so much in common,” said MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, who spoke at the historic occasion along with Consul General of Germany in Miami Jürgen Borsch, City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and Jürgen Hardt, coordinator for Transatlantic Cooperation of the German Government. “Today, we are unveiling a new symbol, one that can inspire our students at Miami Dade College, and the members of our community. That Wall is now a bridge of understanding.”

Unique Location

A gift from the Republic of Germany, the 12-foot tall, 3-foot wide, 4.5-ton section of the historic Berlin Wall with its original graffiti was donated to MDC by the City of Miami and is now a permanent installation at Wolfson Campus, the only educational institution in the region to receive this honor. It stands nestled at the corner of Northeast Second Avenue and Third Street, outside Building 1.

Erected in 1961, the Berlin Wall divided East and West Germany during the Cold War. It stood for nearly three decades holding millions of people captive under communism. Its fall in 1989 was celebrated around the world as a triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression. The installation at MDC carries that message forth for many generations to come, especially in South Florida where so many families are divided by borders and oceans.

Message of Hope

“We want to send out a signal that change and conciliation is possible through the power of the people,” said Consul General Borsch.

Among the more than 1,500 people who gathered for the unveiling and festivities were U.S. Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart, several Florida State senators and representatives, local elected officials and consuls general in Miami representing Brazil, France, Italy, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Spain and Turkey, among many others. The event featured German folk music, free T-shirts in the colors of the German flag (black, red and gold), flags, and traditional German food and beverages.

In addition, MDC and the German Consulate in Miami curated an exhibition comprised of photo collages showcasing key moments in the history of the Berlin Wall.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577.