Symbolizing leadership, quality, and excellence, the American bald eagle is a high-flying bird that soars above all others. Native Americans believed that the bald eagle was a wellspring of sacred power and healing. Above all, the bald eagle's vision is unsurpassed by any other bird of prey.

Of the 58 species of eagles worldwide, the bald eagle is the only one unique to the United States. Only two national symbols have been created by lawthe flag and the great seal of the United States that features the bald eagle. America's armed forces have placed the bald eagle on their seal because it is associated with the courage and bravery exhibited by our nation's soldiers. 

Golden Eagle by Larry Allan

This photo of the "Golden Eagle" was donated to the ALS Department by Larry Allan, who lives in Sarasota, Fla., and is a nationally acclaimed wildlife photographer and artist. 

At the completion of your dissertation defense, your chairperson will present you with the golden eagle pin. Your doctoral degree, the highest degree a university can award, will be solidified with the ALS program's official seal of approval.