Actors, authors, and singers. Those are some of the types of people who have received the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award, given yearly to Mississippians who have made notable contributions to the arts. For the first time, that award has been given to an architect. Robert Ivy, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects, took home the award for 2018.
So how did an architect get an award that has gone to the likes of Morgan Freeman and Shelby Foote? According to Nancy LaForge, President of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, which gives out the award, “When it comes to making architecture more accessible to the general public, there’s really no one else from Mississippi like Robert Ivy.” Visit architectmagazine.com to know more about Robert Ivy.
A former officer in the United States Navy, Robert Ivy received a Bachelor’s degree in English from Sewanee: The University of the South. Later, he got his Master’s degree in Architecture from Tulane University. He then went to work for the publishing company McGraw Hill, where he became editor in chief of the magazine Architectural Record. Under his leadership, the publication received a number of awards. He is also the author of the book Fay Jones: Architect , a devotee of Frank Lloyd Wright who designed many famous buildings, including the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista, Arkansas. Follow Robert Ivy at Twitter.
In 2011, Ivy left McGraw Hill to become the CEO of the AIA. Since he took over the organization, it has grown its presence around the world. New chapters of the AIA have been created in Canada and China.
This is not the only major award Robert Ivy has received. In 2010, he was named a Master Architect by the fraternity Alpha Rho Chi. In 2017, Ivy got the Dean’s Medal from the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas.