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The year 2018 marked the first time for an architect to receive the prestigious Polk Award. The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, which confers the award, announced that the American Institute of Architects CEO and EVP Robert Ivy would receive the Noel Polk Award during an MIAL event on June 2nd.
The lifetime achievement award recognizes extraordinary work from Mississippi-based architects and patrons, who have dedicated their lives to any form of supporting or creating arts. With this award, Ivy now joins a small group of Mississippians Polk Award honorees. The group has famous names in the Mississippi art industry such as Walter Anderson for his artistic works, Morgan Freeman as an actor, Eudora Welty as a prolific writer, singer Leontyne Price, and writer Shelby Foote.
Ivy’s work touches a broad genre of art including authorship and a global architecture commentating figure. According to Nancy LaForge – the president of Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters – Robert Ivy has been honored due to his efforts in easing the accessibility of architecture to the public. She added that honoring Ivy with the Noel Polk Award was a rightful lifetime achievement for the architect.
On its side, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) welcomed the move by MIAL. Carl Elefante – the President of AIA – congratulated the institute’s executive vice president for the lifetime honor. Elefante FAIA on his statement recognized the work of Robert Ivy since resuming top administrative roles at AIA in 2011. Since then, Elefante acknowledges that Ivy has been the architecture profession worthy ambassador as a practicing architect, author, and editor of architecture materials. His ambassador roles of the profession are evident through the improved global presence of AIA in his tenure as the CEO and EVP – currently, the 160-years-old organization is more influential globally than ever before, with the highest number of members throughout its history.
Robert Ivy is a BA (English) graduate from Sewanee. His also earned a Masters in Architecture from the Tulane University. His profession began in 1996 with the Architectural Record as the Chief Editor. Since then, he has worked with various organizations such as the McGraw-Hill Construction Media. Apart from the Polk Award, he was voted the 2010 Master Architect and holds the 2009 Crain Award honoree.
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