Miami Dade College Golden Gala

Elena and David Weck
A magical evening of art appreciation, fine dining, opera, live music and dance dazzled more than 1,000 community leaders and luminaries who attended Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Golden Gala Dec. 2, at its National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower celebrating 50 years of academic excellence. More importantly, the event raised $5,015,000 for the college’s American Dream Scholarship Fund making it the single, most successful charitable event in the region’s history.

“To place a value on what Miami Dade College has meant to this community would be impossible. But if one night could somehow signify the love and respect for MDC, then last night was surely that moment,” said a jubilant, grateful and nostalgic Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, who is not only the president but a product of Miami Dade College.

The tributes offered and the memories recalled at the Gala confirm an incomparable educational and cultural legacy. However, the 50th anniversary events celebrated this week were also about the future. Earlier in the week, MDC also opened its landmark smART exhibition and art sale, specially curated to showcase exceptional contemporary art from the Americas running through December 15, in support of scholarships for tomorrow’s MDC students.

Jennifer Valoppi and Christian de Berdouare
The Gala’s host committee was also composed of world leaders from various fields, a testament to the esteem in which MDC is held. These included MDC alumni Cesar Alvarez, Sheldon Anderson, Lin Arison, Ambassador Paul Cejas, Emilio Estefan, Andy Garcia, Carlos Migoya, Jorge Perez, Sylvester Stallone, and Alexandra Villoch.

Other leaders on the committee included Bernardo Acebal, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Emilio Azcárraga, Victor Balestra, Jon & Nancy Batchelor, David Bisbal, Norman and Irma Braman, Don & Maria Browne, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Tanya Capriles Brillembourg, Eligio Cedeño, Betty Chapman, Ella Cisneros, Armando & Margarita Codina, César & Pamela Conde, Fanny Dascal, Ernesto De La Fe, Fausto & Remedio Diaz-Oliver, S.A.R. Prince Dimitri of Yugoslovia, Plácido Domingo, Judy Drucker, Gloria Estéfan, George & Mariita Feldenkreis, Mike & Constance Fernández, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Alma Hernandez, Carolina Herrera, Tibor & Sheila Hollo, Stella Holmes, Alberto & Susana Ibargüen, Juanes, Jay & Jon Kislak, Rafael & Rebeca Kravec, Mario Kreutzberger (Don Francisco), David & Roberta Lawrence, U.S. Senator George Lemieux, Benjamín León III, J. Bernard Machen, Pedro Martin, former U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, Alvaro Martinez-Font, Eduardo and Athina Marturet, Loretta & Carlos Mattos, Arva & Robert McCabe, Steven & Solita (Gala Chair) Mishaan, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Armando Olivera, Patricia Phelps Cisneros, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Javier Salman, Gene Schaefer, Jon Secada, Penny Shaffer, Donna Shalala, Don Shula, Silvia Tcherassi, Harvey & Lois Watson, Lynn Wolfson, Irene Zingg and several others, and many were in attendance.

María and Don Browne
For more information regarding Miami Dade College’s 50th anniversary events, please visit

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