Robert Ivy probably never imagined he would have something in common with famed actor Morgan Freeman. But the star of such movies as “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Driving Miss Daisy” and the former editor of Architectural Record are both recipients of the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is bestowed upon living Mississippians by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters for their contributions to creating, performing, or supporting the arts. Freeman won the award back in 2007, and Ivy received it this year.
The reason for Robert Ivy being given Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award goes beyond simply designing buildings. MIAL President Nancy LaForge said that Ivy’s work as a writer and editor has helped make architecture more accessible to the general public. A former U.S. Navy officer, Ivy became the editor in chief of Architectural Record in 1996. Before then, he was a principal at Dean/Dale, Dean & Ivy, and also wrote articles for several national architectural publications.
During Robert Ivy’s time as head of Architectural Record, the publication earned a number of awards, including the American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for General Excellence and the 2008 MPA Digital Award for Website of the Year: Enthusiast. In 2001, he published a biography on Frank Lloyd Wright devotee Fay Jones. In 2011, Ivy stepped down from his editor’s job to become the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects, or AIA. Since taking the helm of that organization, it has seen a huge growth in its membership, and has established new offices in various parts of the world.
Robert Ivy is a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, where he obtained a B.A. in English in 1969. In 1976, he received his Master’s in Architecture from Tulane University in Louisiana. Ivy is also a 2017 recipient of the Dean’s Medal from the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture.
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