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Groundbreaking Minority-friendly Florida College Celebrates 50th Anniversary

This week, Miami Dade College is celebrating its 50-year anniversary as not only a institute of higher education, but with the largest student body in the U.S.

MDC has 171,000 students from 182 different countries, and is a prime example of college education options for immigrants and minority groups.

“Education is key to a nation’s development. We live in a world dominated by a knowledge economy and without education there is no hope for development,” said MDC’s President, Eduardo Padron.

“Education is vital for the Hispanic community, and for the United States having Latinos and other minorities go to college is a matter of survival,” said Padron, 66, who became head of the school in 1995.

Just in time for MDC’s 50th anniversary, the school is at its peak for number of students graduating each year and for the name and fame it has acquired.

The goal of this effort is to create a national awareness of the importance of education and “convince the country that the challenge is to educate each and every one of its citizens,” he said.

“Nobody and least of all Hispanics can be marginalized. Without going to college there are no opportunities. Human potential is infinite and university education is the key to collective prosperity,” Padron said.

With all the controversy surrounding immigration right now, institutions like MDC are important in highlighting that getting a degree is still possible for students who, because of universities’ qualifications, can’t get into those universities.

“Our open-door policy allows students without sufficient initial learning to begin taking a course. We welcome with open arms students who don’t belong to the elite and we facilitate their learning. For that reason MDC is a real factory of dreams,” said Padron.