The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today that its Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, has been recognized with the Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award by the nonprofit Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL). "This marks the first time an architect has received the Polk Award, which is given to living Mississippi-connected artists and art patrons whose body of work over a lifetime of creating, performing, and/or supporting art is extraordinary and worthy of special honor," according to a press release. Ivy and stained-glass artist Andrew Cary Young of Jackson, Miss.–based Pearl River Glass Studio will be officially presented with the award at an event on June 2.

"As the CEO of AIA since 2011, and as an author, editor, and practicing architect, Robert Ivy is a worthy ambassador for our profession,” said AIA president Carl Elefante, FAIA, in the same release. “This award comes as a crowning personal and professional achievement for him as a native of Mississippi. On behalf of the AIA, I am truly delighted to congratulate him on this unique honor.”

Prior to joining the AIA in 2011, Ivy served as editor-in-chief for Architectural Record, where he received numerous awards, including a National Magazine Award. His leadership at the AIA has "significantly grown the global footprint of the Institute," which according to the AIA, "is at its highest membership level in its 160-year-old history." In 2010, Ivy was named a "Master Architect" by the national architecture fraternity Alpha Rho Chi, an honorary title given to some of the world's more well-known architects including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, R. Buckminster Fuller, and I.M. Pei, FAIA. Last year, Ivy received the Dean’s Medal from the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture, and is the author of Fay Jones (McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001).

“When it comes to making architecture more accessible to the general public, there’s really no one else from Mississippi like Robert Ivy,” said MIAL president Nancy LaForge in the press release. “As a writer, author, and commentator on architecture worldwide, Ivy now takes his rightful place in an acclaimed list of Noel Polk Award honorees.”

Ivy joins the ranks of previous Noel Polk award recipients, including writers Eudora Welty (2001) and Shelby Foote (2004), actor Morgan Freeman (2007), artist Walter Anderson (1989), and singer Leontyne Price (2000).