It came as a surprise to many when Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) made an unusual announcement. The announcement was made to the public via a Press Release. The aim was to announce that for the first time in the history of the institute, an architect was going to receive the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award. The name of the person to receive the award according to the Press Released is Robert Ivy, an architect, whose roots are traced to Mississippi. Those who know the history of Noel Polk Awards know that it has never been given to an architect. In most cases, the award is given to those by using artistic skills; they portray and support the livelihoods of the Mississippi people. Besides, those who are considered worth of the award must be living patrons.
But this had a different twist on June 2, 2018, a day when Robert Ivy together with Andrew Cary Young received their prizes. Although Robert Ivy was happy to receive such an honor, there was another man who was also overwhelmed by Ivy’s prestigious honor. The man is Carl Elefante, American Institute of Architects President. On behalf of Robert, Carl said that he was personally thrilled when he heard that one of their own will receive the award.
“I cannot hide my joy. I am a happy man that my vice has been selected to receive the award. Robert has shown remarkable skills ever since he arrived at AIA. He deserves the award. He will now go into the books of history as the first Mississippi architect to have received the award, which otherwise has never been given to an architect,” Carl said of Robert.
Robert Ivy is the current Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Apart from being a practicing architect, Robert is also an accomplished author and editor. Before his joining AIA, Robert Ivy worked at the Architectural Record at the position of Chief-in-Editor. While here, he received an award from National Magazine. One year before becoming AIA Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Rho Chi, a national architecture fraternity gave him the name ‘Master Architect’.
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