The Board of Directors of Achieving the Dream has bestowed on Dr. Eduardo Padrón Emeritus status, which is given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and contributions to ATD, exemplifying the highest standards of personal and professional integrity, civic responsibility, vision and leadership. Achieving the Dream’s Board Chair, Dr. Pam Eddinger, along with President and CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout, presented Dr. Eduardo Padrón with this recognition at the organization’s annual DREAM convening for his nine years of service on the ATD Board of Directors. The designation recognizes Dr. Padrón’s considerable leadership and support in helping the organization advance its mission of supporting student success and increasing educational equity.
“ATD is deeply grateful to Dr. Padrón for his years of service to the Board, and his clarion vision in shaping the community college movement. It is our honor that Dr. Padrón accepts this Emeritus status, and continues to watch over us as we step into the future,” said Dr. Eddinger.
Guided by his belief that talent is universal but opportunity is not, Dr. Padrón has provided a model for how to “open the door of opportunity wide” for every person throughout his 25 years as president of Miami Dade College, America’s largest and most diverse public higher education institution. His pursuit of designing a culture of success has produced significant results in student access, retention, graduation, and overall achievement at Miami Dade, and led to the college’s winning the 2017 Leah Meyer Austin Award, the highest honor Achieving the Dream bestows. Under his leadership, Miami Dade also won the Aspen Prize for College Excellence in 2019.
Dr. Padrón’s personal honors and awards include the 2012 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship, the Carnegie Corporation Centennial Academic Leadership Award, the 2011 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
As a board member and chair of several board committees, Dr. Padrón has shared his expertise and knowledge of higher education, policy, programs, and student success to contribute to the growth and reach of Achieving the Dream. With his input and leadership, ATD continues to reimagine the power and potential for community colleges to act as profoundly accessible hubs of learning, credentialing, and economic mobility that eliminate inequities in educational workforce outcomes, strengthening the communities they serve.
“It is difficult to sum up Dr. Padrón’s decades of inspiring work championing student success and model to ‘open the door of opportunity wide’ for everyone. On behalf of everyone in the ATD Network, I extend my deepest appreciation to Dr. Padrón for his example, his time, and his leadership,” Dr. Stout said.
Although DREAM was a virtual event this year, Dr. Eddinger was able to “hand off” Dr. Padrón’s award during Wednesday’s plenary.