The American Institute of Poland will honor Miami Dade College (MDC) president Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón as the recipient of the 2018 Amicus Poloniae Award.
Ambassador Piotr Wilczek of Poland will present the award during the 46th International Polonaise Ball, which also will honor Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m., at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach.
The Amicus Poloniae Award is being awarded to Dr. Padrón for being a groundbreaker in education and for his outstanding efforts in promoting cooperation between Poland and the United States.
An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a teenage refugee in 1961. Since 1995, he has served as president of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 165,000 students. He is credited with elevating MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities.
An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his PhD from the University of Florida. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S., for being a prominent national voice for access and inclusion in higher education.
In 2009, Time magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2010, Florida Trend magazine placed him on the cover of its inaugural “Floridian of the Year” issue. In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S.
Also in 2011, he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Carnegie Corporation Centennial Academic Leadership Award. In 2012, he received the Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service, the coveted TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, and the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship. In 2015, he was inducted into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Hall of Fame.
Dr. Padrón’s leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the past chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and is a past chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and former chair of the Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF). During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by five American presidents.
Under Dr. Padrón’s leadership, Miami Dade College has received national recognition for its longstanding involvement with its urban community, its catalytic effect for social and economic change, and the marked difference the college has made in student access and success through pace-setting initiatives.
The American Institute of Polish Culture Inc., founded in 1972 by Blanka A. Rosenstiel, is a non-profit, non-sectarian, tax-exempt Florida corporation. The aims of the Institute are twofold: first, to share with all Americans the rich heritage of Poland, which has contributed in important ways to Western civilization; second, to establish a center of educational facilities and resources for the encouragement and promotion of the scientific and aesthetic endeavors of Americans of Polish descent.