Miami Dade College’s fledgling school of government got a boost Monday when Spanish financial giant Banco Santander donated $500,000 over three years to help fund the program.
In a ceremony Monday at the college’s downtown Wolfson Campus, Banco Santander chairwoman Ana Patricia Botín and MDC president Eduardo Padrón signed the agreement, along with José Varela Ortega, president of the Spanish civic group Fundación Ortega y Gasset, which is also a partner in the school.
“The subject of good government is central — it is at the base of society,” Botín said in Spanish to a roomful of civic and business leaders.
The program, called the Goberna Las Américas School of Government, provides online and in-person courses on government and public policy issues with a focus on Latin America. It launched last November.
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Miami Dade College will establish a Santander Chair in “responsible and sustainable banking” as a result of the gift.
Miami mayor Tomás Regalado, who attended the ceremony, said the partnership would build stronger ties between Miami and Latin American leaders.
“This helps positions Miami as an educational hub for the entire region,” Regalado said.
Banco Santander, with assets of $1.6 trillion, is Spain’s largest bank and a major global institution. (Its Boston-based U.S. unit recently failed a Federal Reserve stress test, along with Deutsche Bank’s local subsidiary, because of worries over its planning procedures in the event of an economic crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported.)
“For us to be able to attract an institution like Santander to Miami Dade College is very special,” Padron said. “It’s one of the many efforts that we’re making to bring international global institutions to the support of the college.”
After the signing ceremony, Botín spoke with a group students from the college, discussing her strategies for succeeding in business and in life.
“After speaking to her, I feel more confident as a student and as someone who’s coming into the workforce looking for a job and career,” said Miles Bryant, a 19-year-old majoring in drama at Miami Dade’s honors college.