Academy of Achievement
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., USA|
Chairman & CEO
|Wayne R. Reynolds|
|Catherine B. Reynolds|
The American Academy of Achievement, colloquially known as the Academy of Achievement, is an American non-profit educational organization that brings together accomplished people from diverse fields with graduate students in order to network and to encourage and mentor the next generation of young leaders. The Academy hosts an annual International Achievement Summit, which ends with an awards ceremony, during which new members are inducted into the Academy.
History [ edit ]
The Academy was founded in 1961 by Sports Illustrated and LIFE magazine photographer Brian Reynolds. His 1953 LIFE cover photograph of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier sailing at Hyannis Port “helped shape the mystique of Camelot” and was later selected by TIME as the 100 most influential images of all time. Reynolds established the Academy to both empower and educate young people by bringing them together with leaders, the level of achievers he met on his many photographic assignments.
In 1985, Reynolds' son, Wayne Reynolds took over the leadership, becoming the executive director of the Academy and, in 1999, was selected as the board chairman. In the 1990s, Reynolds moved the organization to its new foundation headquarters building in Washington, D.C.
International Achievement Summit [ edit ]
On September 9, 1961, the Academy hosted its first International Achievement Summit. The summit, held in Monterey, California, included a "Banquet of the Golden Plate" awards ceremony, named for the "gold plate service" used for special occasions by the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, which provided the service for the ceremony. Physicist Edward Teller was the keynote speaker, in which he warned of the United States' poor performance in the atomic arms race. Awardees at the inaugural ceremony also included engineers Charles Stark Draper and Kelly Johnson, General Douglas MacArthur and film director William Wyler. Nobel Prize laureates Willard Libby and Luis Walter Alvarez were also 1961 awardees, the first group of more than 150 other Nobel Prize recipients that have been inducted into the Academy. The first honorees were chosen by a national board of governors, but subsequent honorees have been selected by the Golden Plate Awards Council, which consists of prior Academy awardees.
The Golden Plate is awarded for an individual's contributions to science, the arts, public service, sports and industry. The Academy has held a summit and awards banquet annually since 1961. The roster of Golden Plate awardees who have participated in the summit include Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Jeff Bezos, George Lucas, Sally Ride, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, John Lewis, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Jonas Salk, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Toni Morrison, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin.
The 25th anniversary Academy summit was held in Washington, D.C. in June 1986. The program included an awards ceremony at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Among the Academy members who participated in the 1986 program were Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Chuck Yeager, Muhammad Ali, Willie Mays, Ray Charles, Steven Spielberg, Leontyne Price, Herman Wouk, Olivia de Havilland, and Robert Rauschenberg.
In October 2012, the Academy celebrated its 50th anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit’s introductory dinner was hosted by Academy members Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy at the U.S. Supreme Court and Sonia Sotomayor was presented with the Golden Plate Award. General Colin Powell was the keynote speaker.
The 2019 International Achievement Summit was held in New York City, and the Golden Plate Awardees included Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nadia Murad, Leymah Gbowee, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and Ian McEwan. The summit ended with a dinner and tour of the "Play It Loud" exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, hosted by Academy member Jimmy Page.
The annual summit is attended by graduate students and young innovators, like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who paused their PhD studies to found Google, from the U.S. and overseas. The summits were originally attended by high school students chosen based on their academic achievement and extracurricular activities. Other Academy delegate alumni include Taylor Swift, Bryan Stevenson, Pete Buttigieg, Eric Lander, Herschel Walker, Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Karl Deisseroth, and Feng Zhang.
References [ edit ]
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