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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Taps Miami Dade College President to Serve on the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission

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Miami, April 15, 2011 - United States Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has appointed Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón to the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission.

“I am pleased that these passionate and accomplished individuals have agreed to serve St. Augustine and our nation by serving on this Commission,” Secretary Salazar said. “As stewards of our nation’s great history, the Department of the Interior and the Commission will work to ensure that the story of St. Augustine and our Spanish ancestors is recognized and preserved for generations to come.”

The purpose of the Commission is to plan, develop, and execute programs and activities to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, Florida. The 450th anniversary of what is the oldest continuously occupied city and port in the  United States will take place in 2015. MDC alumnus, United States Congressman John L. Mica, introduced the legislation that established the Commission.

Dr. Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. Most recently, President Barack Obama appointed him to chair the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.  He is also the Chair of the American Council on Education and a key member of many other national organizations.

In addition to this latest recognition, in 2009, TIME magazine included President Padrón on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents” in the nation and Florida Trend magazine named him the “2010 Floridian of the Year.” He is the recipient of many other distinctions and honors especially for advocating for the nation’s underserved and their access to quality higher education.

Under Dr. Padrón’s leadership, MDC has become the largest institution of higher education in the U.S., serving 170,000 students at eight campuses and numerous outreach centers across Miami-Dade County. He is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world and is often invited to participate in educational policy forums in the U.S. and abroad. During his career, President Padrón has been tapped by five American Presidents for posts of national prominence.


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

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