For the first time in its history, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) has awarded the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement award to an architect — Robert Ivy. Ivy joins a diverse list of honorees including such well-known personalities as actor Morgan Freeman, Pulitzer-Award-Winning author Eudora Welty, and vocalist Leontyne Price, to name a few.
If he had only his work as a practicing architect to recommend him, Robert Ivy would be justified in considering himself successful. But Ivy has also been a successful author, editor, and executive. In a text praised by the Art Library of North America, Ivy penned the definitive biography of Fay Jones, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Robert Ivy is the former editor of McGraw-Hill’s Architectural Record. During his tenure as editor, Architectural Record became the most widely-distributed journal of architecture in the world. Ivy also oversaw the introduction and rapid growth of the Mandarin version of Architectural Record in China.
After leaving McGraw-Hill in 2011, Robert Ivy became CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). When one stops to think about it, it’s noteworthy for someone to catch the attention of the art world, function as a successful architect, excel at the detail-oriented position of editor, author a highly-regarded biography, and shine as the CEO of one of America’s most highly-regarded professional organizations.
Ivy’s education and early work history point (in hindsight) to the successes that followed. He began his education with a BA in English from Sewanee University, next attending and earning a Master of Architecture Degree from Tulane. Prior to starting his career as an architect, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy.
Other awards bestowed on Ivy include American Business Media’s highest honor — the Crain Award, and the title of Master Architect from Alpha Rho Chi, the national architecture fraternity.