The Hooding Ceremony

By Karen DiGloria, AMU Admissions Director

The Academic Hood
The hood that forms part of today’s academic regalia was originally a head covering for bad weather. Later it was dropped to the shoulders in the form of a small cape. Eventually, the hood became a separate piece of apparel bearing even more symbolism than the gown. The hood’s outer rim is colored velvet denoting the wearer’s discipline and degree level.

The American Meridian University Hood
American Meridian University recognizes its Masters, Doctoral, Post-Doctoral students and Honorary Doctorate recipients during a Hooding Ceremony held in conjunction with its Annual Commencement Week-end. The colorful hood of the institution is reserved for those who attain earned academic degrees beyond the bachelor’s degree or honorary acclaim for their professional, public service or humanitarian accomplishments. Members of the AMU Graduate Faculty drape the hood over each designated graduate in the historic tradition during the Commencement Ceremony. The colors of the hood’s outer rim are part of the “authentic” regalia selected by the founder of American Meridian University and its predecessor Institution to represent the Quality Systems Management discipline. The different colors of the hood denote the degree level. The Master’s hood is gold. The AMU doctoral and post-doctoral hoods are Wedgewood blue. The outer color of the Honorary Doctorate hoods is brown. The interior of all AMU hoods is a deep red silk with two black chevrons. The two chevrons represent AMU’s two pillars of “Theory” and “Practice” and the University-wide commitment to Quality System Management.

The University Mace

American Meridian University Commencements begin with the entrance of the University Mace, carried by the University Marshal. The mace is present at ceremonies only when the president and Board of Trustees are in attendance and signifies that proceedings have official sanction. The tradition of the mace dates from medieval England, when the mace was held by a designated protector of order and safety at ceremonial functions. Maces are used by governing bodies including the U.S. House of Representatives. An esteemed symbol of authority, the mace reminds us that universities are protectors of learning and that learning imparts the power of knowledge upon the Institution’s students and graduates. At American Meridian University, the mace signifies the competency to induce change and improvement through the applied best practices of Quality Management.

In 2018, the University celebrates its 5th Annual Commencement. The Mace is carried by the individual whom the University considers the person who has most contributed to the success of current graduates: Dr. Sharon L. Burton, Director of Publishing Initiatives and Senior Adviser to Doctoral Dissertation Projects. The mace bears the Great Seal of AMU and its direct predecessor as Institutions committed to Quality Management.

The University Shield, Great Seal and Motto

The shield at the center of the Great Seal of the University derives from the ancient heraldic custom by which families employed coats of arms to identify themselves and what they stood for to all whom they met. Each element on the coat of arms symbolized a virtue, value, possession or tradition of the family. Words, originally in Latin, were also often included on the coat of arms.

The American Meridian University Shield is divided into four elements which reinforce the mission of AMU as a professional Practice Institution: the open book at the top right signifies the pursuit of knowledge; the Q at the bottom right signifies the application of knowledge through Quality Management.

At the Center of the shield are the two pillars of the University: The word Theory in a vertical position is an explicit commitment to understanding gained through reading. The word Practice caps Theory and is intended to signify that theory can only go so far and must be completed by the practical implementation of theory.

The circle around the shield resembles a “seal” by which the University authenticates its support for the documents on which the seal is placed. The Great Seal of the University cannot be imprinted on documents without permission.

The Motto of the University is “Success You Can Measure” which indicates that success, through the application of quality management through projects, must be quantified.

AMU Student Healthcare Chapter Joins National Institute for Healthcare Improvement Substance Abuse Campaign

The aim of the AMU Student Chapter of the Open School Program at the prestigious Institute for Healthcare Improvement is “to reduce the cost of healthcare delivery.” AMU Chapter student teams have completed Degree or Black Belt-related projects, reported results on storyboards and competed in national or international competitions. Attached is a photo of AMU Healthcare graduates and sample storyboard.

Starting spring 2018, the AMU Student Chapter will join the IHI sponsored student-led national campaign against substance abuse disorders. All members of the AMU Community are encouraged to join the Student Chapter at the initial meeting during Commencement Week-end June 8-9. Nominations for new members and inquiries should be sent to

Quality Theory and Practice Illustrated in AMU’s Academic Regalia

AMU is the nation’s only University whose programs are all founded on Quality Management Principles and Best Practices. AMU illustrates its commitment to Quality Management through the Quality-based tools which students use in learning skills and competencies. And students understand both Quality “theory” and “practice” in achieving real-time Project results.

At the June 2018 graduation, AMU will further illustrate its commitment to the “theory” and “practice” of quality through its academic regalia. The doctoral hood, pictured here) will include two chevrons, one each for theory and practice.

SAVE THE DATES 3rd Annual AMU Conference

AMU will host its 3rd Annual International Interdisciplinary Academic and Business Conference (AMUIIABC) on Friday-Saturday June 23, 24, 2017.
Advanced graduate students from guest universities, faculty and practitioners will present Abstracts of work in progress and Quality-Based Improvement Projects. The Conference location is Boca Raton, Florida at the Hilton Boca Raton Suites, known for its two room suites, included amenities and close-by sunny beaches. For more details, email updates on conference details, and early registration coupon, contact

AMU- Institute for Healthcare Improvement Initiative

AMU is forming Student Campus Groups for Healthcare Improvement via models from the esteemed Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). IHI is a globally recognized leader in healthcare policy, education, and initiatives such as ” Improved Healthcare for 100 Million by 2020.” IHI promotes the “Triple Aim” of world-wide improvement in population health: a) improved health for all; b) better health collaboration with patients; c) reduced cost of healthcare delivery. As an Institution with expertise in process quality, AMU and its Campus Groups will emphasize the reduction of waste, cycle time and costs through action research- based projects. To join an AMU Healthcare Improvement Group, contact us by clicking here.

AMU Florida Colloquium Dec 8-11

AMU students, faculty and friends assemble for end of semester Colloquia to assess student progress during a series of academic and social events.
The December 8-11 Colloqium will be held at the Hilton Boca Raton Suites (Florida), which is noted for its two room suites, reasonable rates, homey atmosphere for classwork, and six minute drive to beaches. Students receive personal, one-on-one-and group feedback to their Degree-related Projects. Project Sponsors and visitors are welcome.

Faculty book on ProQuest Academic Database

Dr. Sharon L. Burton’s new book, Transitioning to I Can from I Can’t has been selected for inclusion on the esteemed ProQuest Academic database employed in academic and professional research. Reviewers have praised Transitioning to I Can from I Can’t for “practical examples aimed at assisting people in all walks of life to make positive transitions…Readers receive inspiration to review their habits and thought processes, knowledge to delineate needed change, and help to seek solutions… Dr. Burton’s book uses case studies that provide avenues to desired personal and professional end-states.”
American Meridian University congratulates Dr. Sharon L. Burton on the book’s selection to the prestigious data base.

Dr. Sharon L. Burton is the Director of the AMU Publishing Initiative and Chair of the 3rd Annual 2017 AMU International Interdisciplinary Academic and Business Conference. (AMUIIABC) For more information on the book, click here.