Being an architect can at times be considered a thankless career. Often the men and women who design and create buildings and bridges can be slipped away out of the spotlight after their work is built. Thankfully, groups like the nonprofit, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters also known as the MIAL which are specifically tasked with recognizing the best in many art based industries can often heed the call for recognizing the gifted. This year, they have chosen an architect for this year’s award. In April, The American Institute of Architects announced that one of their own was added to the elite and high ranking gifted architects recognized for a lifetime achievement award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
Robert Ivy, the CEO of The American Institute of Architects was recognized by the MIAL with the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award. This is a highly unusual source for an architect to receive such an award and it is the first time that the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters has recognized an architect. The award is given to living Mississippi connected artists and patrons, who have collectively contributed extraordinarily to the art community and society. Robert Ivy along with stained-glass artist Andrew Cary Young from Jackson, Mississippi’s Pearl River Glass Studio will be honored for their contributions for the 2018 celebration. Ivy, has been the CEO of The American Institute of Architects since 2011. He is also an author, editor, and a currently practicing architect. The President of the AIA, Carl Elefante, stated he was very excited for Robert and called him a worthy ambassador for the architectural profession.
The AIA under his co-leadership has helped to significantly grow a global footprint for the Institute. Presently, they are at their highest membership level in its 160-year-old history. Robert Ivy has also received a high-ranking award in 2010 when he was named and recognized as a “Master Architect” by the national architecture fraternity of Alpha Rho Chi. This honorary title is only given to the world’s most widely known and highly achieved architects. With this award, Robert Ivy joins the ranks of some of the most prestigious Mississippians all of whom were previous Noel Polk award recipients. Previous honorees include writers Eudora Welty, and Shelby Foote, acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman, artist Walter Anderson and renowned singer Leontyne Price.