President Barack Obama on Tuesday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron and other luminaries from education, sports, entertainment, architecture and culture.
Obama hung the medals around each recipients neck in the ornate East Room of the White House with long gold-embroidered curtains, a giant chandelier and oil portraits of former first ladies.
Recounting Padron's childhood journey from Cuba, Obama said his career as an educator has helped countless young people follow in his footsteps of arriving an immigrant and realizing the American Dream.
"Eduardo made his choice to create more stories just like his," Obama said. "Dr. Padron has built a dream factory for one of nation's most diverse student bodies."
Jordan received the loudest applause, while Los Angeles Dodgers radio announcer Vin Scully got the most sustained ovation.
Joining Obama and the recipients for the ceremony were Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and other dignitaries.
Photo credit: Pedro Portal, El Nuevo Herald