Miami Dade College Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to Renovate Historic Freedom Tower

MIAMI, Jan. 11, 2023 – Miami Dade College (MDC) has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant in the amount of $500,000 to help renovate its National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower located in the heart of downtown Miami. The grant is part of NEH’s $28.1 million effort to support innovative projects that use digital tools and technology to further humanities research and increase the accessibility of public programs, cultural and archival materials, and educational resources for large audiences.

“We are extremely grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for this significant investment in the College and helping to preserve an important piece of Miami history,” said Dr. Maryam Laguna Borrego, Vice President for External Affairs & Strategy and Chief of Staff.

MDC’s historic Freedom Tower houses the College’s permanent Special Collections, including the Cuban Legacy Gallery, Exile Experience and Kislak Center. Completed in 1925, the Freedom Tower served as headquarters for The Miami News, the city’s leading newspaper at the time, and later became a symbol of freedom and democracy as a processing center for newly arrived Cuban refugees fleeing communism. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees received financial assistance, food, medical care and other crucial resources to establish a new life in the U.S. at the Freedom Tower, coined the “Ellis Island of the South.” In 2005, the Freedom Tower was donated to MDC. Since then, it has hosted dozens of exhibitions and events featuring national and international artists, heads of state, dignitaries, scholars, renowned authors, actors, musicians and celebrities.

About National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others.  MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high-quality teaching and learning experiences.  It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs.  MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inceptionThe College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system.  MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. Approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit