Robert Ivy Becomes First Architect To Win Polk Lifetime Achievement

For the first time, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) has given its lifetime achievement award to an architect: Robert Ivy. The MIAL’s Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award rewards Mississippi artists and patrons who have demonstrated a lifetime of consistent extraordinary work creating or supporting art. This award tops a long list of honors in Robert Ivy’s distinguished career.

Robert Ivy, a native of Mississippi, is both the CEO and EVP of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Since he became CEO in 2011, the AIA has grown its membership to the highest level since its inception 160 years ago. It now boasts seven global chapters and more than 90,000 members. The AIA is an organization focused on building structures that foster safe neighborhoods.

Robert Ivy earned several distinguished honors in leading to this lifetime achievement award. In 1996 he was named Editor in Chief of Architecture Record, where he guided the prestigious magazine to numerous industry awards, including 26 Jesse H. Neal Awards and 7 Ozzies. In 2010, he was named the first and only “Master Architect” of the 21st century by the exclusive national architecture fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi. In 2017, he was awarded the Dean’s Medal from the Fay Jones School of Architecture (University of Arkansas).

As an academic and ambassador for architecture, Ivy has been a leader, a critic, and an author. In addition to publishing many critical essays on architecture in leading industry publications, he was a juror on a panel chosen to select the architect for the National Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial.

He also wrote and published what most architects see as the definitive biography of architect Fay Jones, a well-known apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. “Fay Jones: Architect,” is an award-winning biography now in its third edition.

Ivy graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sewanee: The University of the South. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Architecture from Tulane University. After graduating, Ivy was a principal architect at Dean/Dale, Dean & Ivy for 15 years before becoming Editor in Chief of Architecture Record.

Robert Ivy joins Mississippi luminaries such as Eudoray Welty, Shelby Foote, Morgan Freeman, and Walter Anderson in earning MIAL’s Noel Folk Lifetime Achievement Award.

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