Robert Ivy Becomes First Architect To Win Polk Lifetime Achievement Award

How can one judge one’s life work? Sure, someone may be wealthy, or may be popular, but is that really the only measure. While it may be enough to some, there does exist an award meant solely to celebrate those who have a massive impact on the world in their given field or career. Whether this is the arts, sciences, economics, or medicine, a Lifetime Achievement award is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, measure of a successful career, since it is presented to an individual based on recommendations from their peers and is awarded based on the entirety of the individual’s lifetime, as well as their total contributions to society.

On April 11, Robert Ivy received the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award. This particular award is presented to both artists and patrons of the arts who have some connection to the state of Mississippi, including if they were born there, or are residents. With this award, Ivy joins a select group of Mississippians, including but not limited to the famed actor Morgan Freeman, who has appeared on the big screens in movies such as Bruce Almighty, Shawshank Redemption, and Seven according to wikipedia.org. Ivy’s reception of the award is made even more momentous, as he is the first architect to receive the award.

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Ivy made his first big impact while he was Editor-in-Chief at McGraw Hills’ Architectural Record. With Ivy at the helm, the magazine won many awards, eventually becoming the premiere architectural journal globally. McGraw-Hills’ Architectural Record. Ivy took the magazine to both China and the Middle East, where its popularity exploded, and personally oversaw to creation of a Mandarin version of the journal.

After leaving the Architectural Record, Ivy became the CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). While he was at the AIA, Ivy made architecture on an artistic and professional scale more accessible to the general public. The AIA were the ones who gifted him the Polk Lifetime Achievement Award in the end. However, it was not only Ivy’s contributions in the field of architecture that garnered him the award, but also his literary exploits. Published in 2001, his authoritative biography Fay Jones: Architect was described as “the highest standards of scholarship, design, and production,” by the Art Library Society of North America. Receiving this award marks a the very epitome of a person’s career, an achievement that in nearly unrivaled anywhere else in the world.

The American Institute of Architects happens to be a professional organization of different architects from all over the United States. Its headquarters is in Washington, DC. It consists of 90,000 members and counting upto now.

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