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University of Miami Transfers Operations of Historic Koubek Center to Miami Dade College

Koubek 1

MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padron receives the keys to the historic John J. Koubek Mansion and Gardens, presented by UM President Donna E. Shalala.

Miami, September 28, 2011 - University of Miami (UM) President Donna E. Shalala and Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón jointly announced the transfer of operations of the historic John J. Koubek Mansion and Gardens in the heart of Little Havana from UM to MDC today at a news conference held on the premises. The facility comes with a $6 million endowment.

For three decades, the Koubek Center has served the community as a satellite campus for UM providing continuing education certificates in Spanish and English. In the early 1960s, the first Cuban refugees started arriving in Miami and the Center began helping doctors, engineers, lawyers and other professionals prepare for their respective Board Exams. The Center and its gardens have been the meeting place for Cuban and Latin American cultural and political groups, honoring the wishes of Austrian businessman John J. Koubek, who donated the mansion to UM under the condition that it serve the community.

“As our colleagues at Miami Dade College take over the operations of this historic Center, we can be sure that John J. Koubek’s legacy will be in good hands and his wish to promote educational and cultural programming will continue to be realized,” said UM President Shalala. 

The Koubek Center is a natural fit for MDC as it sits three blocks away from its InterAmerican Campus.  The College hopes to use it to expand its cultural and educational reach in the community.  MDC already successfully manages the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami and the Tower Theater in Little Havana, which have similar programming interests to the Koubek. 

“We are grateful for the efforts of the University of Miami and the Wells Fargo Bank Trust which oversees this gem,” added President Padrón. “This transfer will expand MDC’s mission of providing our residents access to world-class educational and cultural events. It is a great fit as it sits almost adjacent to MDC’s InterAmerican Campus.”   


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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