Professor Padilla Receives Holladay Medal

Dr. Art Padilla, instrumental in the establishment of the Park Scholarships at NC State, was recognized for his contributions to the university.

On Thursday, May 11, NC State celebrated the outstanding achievements of its faculty and scholars at the Honors Baccalaureate. While several Park Scholars were honored for national scholarships and merit awards, in many ways, the evening belonged to someone else connected to the program—Dr. Art Padilla.

Dr. Padilla was one of four recipients of the Holladay Medal, the highest award given by NC State and its Board of Trustees. Named for the university’s first president, Col. Alexander Quarles Holladay, the award recognizes the contributions of faculty members in teaching, research and service, and a lifetime of outstanding achievement in support of NC State’s mission.

Padilla has served NC State for 16 years as a faculty member and administrator. Before returning to his alma mater, he served as a senior officer for the UNC system and supervised the establishment of dozens of university programs across North Carolina. At NC State, he served as executive assistant to the chancellor and secretary of the university. In this role, he helped establish the NC State Board of Visitors and the College of Management and chaired the NCAA Accreditation Committee, making NC State the first Atlantic Coast Conference institution to be accredited by the NCAA.

Currently an associate professor of business management, Padilla has written about leadership and management of higher education in such publications as the Washington Post, New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education. He recently published Portraits in Leadership: Six Extraordinary University Presidents.

Padilla has also received two Fulbright scholarships and is on the roster of Senior Fulbright Specialists. He is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers.

Such a long list of achievements is impressive, but there is another which is important to Park Scholars. In 1996, Padilla was principally responsible for the proposal establishing the Park Scholarships, crafting the outline of what would become one of the premiere scholarships for undergraduates in the nation. Once the scholarship became a reality, Padilla served as founding chairman of the its Faculty Advisory Committee, drafting blueprints for the program’s operation and enrichment activities. Ten years later, he remains active with the program, attending enrichment trips and serving as mentor to many of its scholars.

Above, Tommy Vitolo (2000) poses with Art Padilla at the Honors Baccalaureate.