Miami Dade College President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón Receives National NASPA Award

Miami, Feb. 8, 2017 – The national Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) recognizes members who are doing outstanding work in the student affairs profession. This year, Miami Dade College (MDC) President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón was selected as the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award. Dr. Padrón will be honored at the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.

The Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award is presented to an individual or organization that has provided dedicated service, consistent advocacy, and outstanding leadership to the higher education community on the national or international level. The honoree will have made a meaningful and appreciable contribution to the issues and concerns affecting higher education.

An economist by training, President Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Recently, Dr. Padrón received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, the nation’s highest civilian honor bestowed to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the the United States. In 2009, Time magazine included him among the “10 Best College Presidents” in the United States. In 2010, Florida Trend placed him on the cover of the inaugural “Floridian of the Year” issue. In 2011, The Washington Post recognized him as one of the eight most influential college presidents in the country. In addition, the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted him its prestigious Centennial Academic Leadership Award. He is also the first college president to receive the National Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service. In addition, he has been named an Ascend Fellow by the Aspen Institute and he is the recipient of the Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, the highest honor in U.S. higher education. He was recently honored with the 2015 Diverse Champions Award from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine, among many other distinctions.

During his more than four-decade career at MDC where he’s created a culture of success, President Padrón has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by six American Presidents. His energetic leadership also extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is former chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. President Padrón currently chairs the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He’s considered the nation’s greatest voice for access and in inclusion in education.

President Padrón’s transformational accomplishments at Miami Dade College have also been regularly lauded by the national media, including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN and The Chronicle of Higher Education, to name a few. He has received some of the most prestigious awards in and out of academia and more than 15 honorary doctorates from leading universities such as Rollins, Princeton and Brown. He is also the recipient of highest honors from the governments of foreign nations, including France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques; Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain whose King Juan Carlos II bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella and King Felipe VI awarded him the prestigious Juan Ponce de León Award.


NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.