Miami Dade College welcomes visit by Bill and Melinda Gates

By Tere Estorino….

Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College, (left) welcomes Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, visited Miami Dade College (MDC) on Nov. 10.

MDC, the nation’s largest campus-based institution of higher education and one of the most respected, was one of four cadres of community colleges that received a planning grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation earlier this year. The grant will be used to identify and implement innovative solutions to increase the number of college graduates across the nation.

“The Gates Foundation has shown tremendous commitment to increasing postsecondary graduation rates,” said Dr. Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “They know that students will have a hard time in today’s marketplace without an affordable, flexible postsecondary credential that gives them a marketable skill.

“It was my pleasure to have Bill and Melinda on campus so they can see the difference we are making in students’ lives, and how their foundation can bolster these efforts.”

The co-chairs toured the Wolfson Campus where they met with the college’s leadership, toured its new state-of-the-art Miami Culinary Institute, enjoyed lunch at the Institute’s popular Tuyo restaurant, and spent time with students.

2011 has been a banner year of national recognition for MDC for its completion and student achievement initiatives. In addition to the Gates Foundation, the college has received special grants from and has been lauded by the most important and prestigious organizations in higher education including the Lumina Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, Kresge Foundation and the Aspen Institute, to name a few. All these awards go toward further expanding MDC’s trailblazing MDC3 Student Success and Completion Initiatives.

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