MIAMI - Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón announced on Friday that he plans to step down from the position he has held since 1995.
In a letter published on the college's website, he wrote he believes it is time for new leadership. His last day at the "dream factory" that graduates the largest number of Hispanics and African Americans in the country will be in August.
"This was not an easy decision, as my love and passion for this great institution are deeply rooted," Padrón wrote. "Yet in my heart, I know it is time to close this chapter of my life.
Padrón, 74, joined the college as a member of the faculty in 1970, a decade after the college opened its doors and nine years after he moved to the United States from Cuba as part of the Operation Pedro Pan exodus.
After decades of accomplishments, former President Barack Obama gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Padrón said he won't be gone for good. He looks forward to celebrating Miami Dade College's 60th anniversary next year.
"I feel very strongly that by then, MDC should have a new leader in place who is fully committed to advance the College to new heights," Padrón wrote.
Today, after almost a quarter of a century as @MDCollege president, I will be stepping down from the presidency as of the end of summer 2019. I've had the pleasure and honor of working at MDC and witnessed countless lives being positively transformed by the power of education. pic.twitter.com/0tYty5csMt — Eduardo J. Padrón (@EduardoJPadron) February 1, 2019
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