The City of Miami is funding a new scholarship at Miami Dade College that honors the school’s outgoing president Eduardo Padrón by helping students finish their degrees.
The Eduardo J. Padrón Completion Scholarship Fund will provide 50 students with $1,000 each to support their tuition and other fees. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says it will preserve Padrón’s legacy of addressing inequality and giving students education opportunities.
“You own our heart and legacy,” Suarez told Padrón during an introduction of the fund on Friday. “His entire career has been dedicated to education, which...is in fact the pathway to prosperity.”
Padrón is retiring after serving as president since 1995. During his tenure, the school has grown into one of the largest higher education institutions in the country with more than 165,000 students.
More than 80 percent of the students rely on financial assistance to pay tuition. The school also ranks first in the state among universities and schools for improving students’ economic social mobility.
Padrón said the new scholarship will go a long way for students trying to pay tuition and other expenses.
“Talent is universal, but opportunity most often is not. So when we open the door of opportunity by allowing the talent to be harnessed, we’re doing a great thing for our community,” he said.
Miami officials said the scholarship is part of a city initiative to drive inclusive growth and create more economic opportunities. The initiative includes job training programs and the creation of child savings accounts for 2,400 incoming kindergarteners.
Miami Dade College has been conducting a search for Padron’s successor and is considering four finalists: Lenore Rodicio, Executive Vice President and Provost of Miami Dade College; Reagan Romali, Superintendent-President of Long Beach Community College; Divina Grossman, President and Chief Academic Officer at the University of St. Augustine of Health of Health Services, and Paul Broadie II, President of Gateway Community College.
The finalists will give presentations on their goals on July 22 and July 23. The school’s Board of Trustees will then interview them on July 24 before making a final decision later that day.