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Miami Dade College President to Receive one of Higher Education’s Highest Honors, the 2012 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence

Dr.EduardoJ.Padron 1

Miami, March 12, 2012 - The recent weeks of major accolades and honors for Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón continue with the nationally respected higher education leader receiving the coveted 2012 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. The award is named in honor of the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and former member of the TIAA-CREF Board of Overseers. A nationally renowned educator and world humanitarian, Father Hesburgh is considered one of the most influential figures in higher education in recent history.

The award, which President Padrón will officially receive during the annual meeting of the American Council on Education (ACE) March 12 in Los Angeles, recognizes leadership and commitment to higher education and contributions to the greater good. It is presented to a current college or university president or chancellor who embodies the spirit of Father Hesburgh, his commitment and contributions to higher education and society. The award is administered by the TIAA-CREF Institute and presented at the American Council on Education annual meeting.

“Dr. Padrón is remarkable with a collaborative leadership style that reinforces the need to network within an institution and throughout the surrounding community,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, managing director and head of the TIAA-CREF Institute. “This, coupled with the ability to bring innovative vision to his role and a positive impact nationally for higher education, makes him a model Hesburgh award winner.”

Dr. Padrón has served as president of Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest institution of higher education, since 1995. His energetic leadership also extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the chair of the prestigious American Council on Education and immediate past chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. He also is chair of the board of the Miami Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Business/Higher Education Forum among other major, national organizations. During his career, he has also been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents, most recently as chair of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans by President Obama. Padrón was also recently named one of TIME magazine’s “10 Best College Presidents,” one of the eight most “influential college leaders” in the U.S. in the Washington Post and the “Floridian of the Year” by Florida Trend magazine.  

President Padrón is the recipient of dozens of major awards during his four decade career. Most recently, he was awarded the “2011 Centennial Academic Leadership Award” from the Carnegie Corporation, “2012 National Citizen Service Award” from Voices for National Service and the “2012 Sand in my Shoes Award” from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Internationally, President Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including the Republic of France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques; the Republic of Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain’s King Juan Carlos II, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.

In 1993, MDC received the first Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for excellence in teaching and learning.

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
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

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