AMU Honorary Doctorates Awarded to Leading Figures in Higher Education, Development and Humanitarian Endeavors.

American Meridian University proudly announces the recipients of AMU Honorary Doctorates for the year 2018. All three recipients have gained international esteem for measurable achievements in their chosen fields. Most importantly, they have time and again demonstrated a higher purpose in their work – unselfishly improving the lives of others through service and education.

Mr. Antoun Moussa, a graduate of the American University in Washington D.C., served the World Bank for 43 years involved in projects which he describes as “finding common purpose in public projects so that private sector funding could help satisfy community needs.” He led initiatives in over 50 countries, spanning all continents, in Information Technology, online education, institutional reforms and strategic management. Finance for such projects ranged from 20 million to 2 billion US dollars.

His accomplishments included the launch and establishment of – “telephone boutiques” for connecting the “last mile” population, – the first demonstration of “Telemedicine” in the Middle East, the “Bank on wheels”, the “Regional Education Centers”, the “Info Shops”, and the “Distant Learning mechanisms” for farmers in Asia and Africa.

Mr. Moussa’s contributions in the fields of technology, education, and health services made a positive difference in the fight against poverty and helped in raising the living conditions of the inhabitants.

Rev. Fadi Dagher, a graduate of the Near East School of Theology, is a pastor, a church leader, a dedicated humanitarian and a devout educational supporter. He is the Trust and Faith keeper of the early American Presbyterian missionaries who founded two leading American universities in Lebanon over a century and half ago.

Rev. Dagher is the General Secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, Founder and Director of Hemlin Hospital for the elderly, a member of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Churches in Syria and Lebanon, Executive Committee Member of the Middle East Council of Churches, and Chairman of the Near East School of Theology. He served as the President of the Association of the 30-strong Evangelical Schools in Lebanon, and as a special status member of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese American University.

Rev. Dagher’s contributions in promoting, managing and supporting American type educational institutions in Lebanon and Syria, both at the K-12 and university levels are both significant and extensive.

Mrs. Hiam Sakr, a graduate of the American University of Beirut, is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, visionary and innovative educational leader. She is Founder and President of the American University of Science & Technology (AUST) located in Lebanon. She is also the Founder and President of the American Lebanese Language Centers in Lebanon, the first network of language centers in Lebanon.

President Sakr’s professional life is notable for the diverse accomplishments on which she embarked with an ever-expanding vision. She started her career as a teacher of the English language and became a consultant to UNESCO on English language teaching in diverse Arab countries. She next established a chain of language centers throughout Lebanon. Her entrepreneurial decision derived from a humanitarian wish: to make English language acquisition available to all Lebanese citizens. It was the same humanitarian impulse- this time to make university education accessible to all young men and women at a reasonable cost— that led her to establish AUST.

Though she has never sought the limelight, international leaders have noticed and awarded her work: She was decorated by the President of the Republic of Lebanon, recognized by NGOs in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, honored by social, governmental, and women’s organizations for her support of education in the Middle East, and decorated by the Bulgarian government for providing subsidized access to education to youth who could otherwise not afford it.

Dr. Georges Nicolas, the Chairman of the AMU Board of Trustees, praised the three recipients. “The entire AMU Community congratulates the esteemed recipients for their significant achievements. All three recipients of the honorary doctorates do honor to AMU by their sustained innovation, vision, and quantifiable improvements. They leave a legacy which shall endure at AMU”.

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.