Robert Ivy is the well-known and vigorous executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Institute of Arts (AIA). Recently, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) ceremoniously awarded him with the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award. The award primarily recognizes Mississippi-connected art patrons and artist whose lifetime work of performing, creating, or supporting art is overwhelmingly extraordinary. Him being an architect, this is the first time the award has been bagged by an architect. Some of the past notable recipients of the Polk Award include individuals such as actor Morgan Freeman, writer Eudora Welty, Writer Shelby Foote, singer Leontyne Price and artist Walter Anderson.
Nancy LaForge, the President of the Mississippi Institute of Art and Letters, posited that Robert Ivy’s work is astoundingly outstanding and that his efforts to make architecture easily accessible by the general public is exemplary. Furthermore, LaForge noted that with the recipient being a commentator, writer and author of architecture globally, he had taken the rightful place as among the most honored recipients of the Noel Polk Award. His boss and the president of American Institute of Architects, Carl Elefante, observed that since his rise to the CEO position in 2011, Robert being an editor, author and a practicing architect is a worthy ambassador of the noble profession.
Since joining the AIA as CEO, Robert Ivy has worked hard to help the entity expand its global presence and influence, which is notably at its highest ever membership level since it was founded over a century and a half ago. Robert’s efforts will be officially acknowledged in an event scheduled for June 2 this year. Alongside the Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert will get a Pearl River Glass Studio’s stained-glass designer Andrew Cary young. Previously, Ivy has bagged numerous accolades, including the Dean’s Medal awarded in 2017 by the Fay Jones School of Architecture in the University of Arkansas and the Maser architect Alpha Rho Chi, which is a national architecture sodality outing him into the ranks of Richard Buckminster Fuller, Mies van der Rohe, and I.M. Pei.
The architecture fraternity in Mississippi, led by AIA president Carl Elefante was the first to congratulate Ivy on his award. In his congratulatory message, Elefante posited that the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award came as a crowning of Ivy’s professional and personal achievement as a Mississippi native. Robert Ivy is an alumnus of the Sewanee: The University of the South from where he earned his Bachelor’s degree of Arts in English. He also holds a Tulane University Master’s degree in Architecture.