FAU College of Business alumnus Eduardo Padrón to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College and an alumnus of Florida Atlantic University College of Business, has been named one of 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced this week.
Padrón, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from FAU in 1966, will receive the medal on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The list of honorees Tuesday includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan and Bruce Springsteen.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor, and the honorees are selected by the president for their contributions to the security or national interests of the country.
"The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor - it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "From scientists, philanthropists and public servants to activists, athletes and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."
Padrón was chosen because of his work over four decades to ensure that all students have access to high quality, affordable education.
"He has championed innovative teaching and learning strategies, making MDC a national model of excellence," the White House Press Office said in a news release.
Daniel Gropper, Ph.D., dean of the FAU College of Business, was one of several South Florida leaders to congratulate Padrón.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an incredible symbol of achievement, and a fantastic recognition of what you have done,” Gropper wrote in an email to Padrón. “Although I can claim no part in your success, in my role as an educational leader at your alma mater, I will do my best to carry forward the tradition of opening the doors of opportunity for all FAU students.