Academy of Achievement
|Academy of Achievement|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., USA|
|Chairman & CEO||Wayne R. Reynolds|
|Vice Chairman||Catherine B. Reynolds|
The Academy of Achievement is a United States-based non-profit organization that aims to bring high profile, successful people from various fields together with "young achievers" to inspire them to succeed. The Academy was founded in 1961 by Hy Peskin (who later changed his name to Brian Blaine Reynolds), and is now run by his son, Wayne Reynolds. The organization is based in Washington, D.C..
The organization presents its annual "Golden Plate" award to high achieving individuals. Notable recipients of the award include Barack Obama, Jonas Salk, Wole Soyinka, Ronald Reagan, Maya Angelou, Desmond Tutu and Steve Jobs.
The Academy of Achievement was founded by freelance magazine photographer Brian Reynolds in 1961 to honor high achievers and to inspire young people by introducing them to high achieving individuals. The first event hosted by the Academy was a "Banquet of the Golden Plate", in September 1961, held in Monterey, California. At the event, 50 individuals were awarded the Academy's "Golden Plate" for their contributions as leaders in science, the arts, public service and industry. The first honorees were chosen by a national board of governors and included Charles Mayo, Willard F. Libby and Wernher von Braun. Edward Teller gave the keynote speech.
The Academy's mission is to recognize outstanding achievement in a variety of fields, including the arts, business, science, politics and the humanities. The organization also aims to provide inspiration and encouragement to young people to reach a high level in their careers and personal interests by bringing them into contact with successful individuals. According to The Press Enterprise, the organization's founder Brian Reynolds wanted the Academy to teach young people about "adversity and how to overcome it".
Organization and funding 
Brian Reynolds led the Academy as its executive director until 1985, when his son Wayne Reynolds assumed leadership. Wayne Reynolds is the current chairman of the Academy of Achievement, which he manages with his wife, Catherine B. Reynolds, the vice chairman. In the 1990s, Reynolds moved the organization from Malibu, California to its current headquarters in Washington, D.C. In addition to the Academy's annual events, it also runs the Museum of Achievement and a website, which features biographies and videos of interviews with Academy of Achievement inductees.
The Academy, which operates as a non-profit organization, was initially funded with Brian Reynolds' personal wealth. More recently, donations from corporate sponsors support its activities and the Academy's website states that its funding is primarily provided by The Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation.
In 2007, the Washington Post reported that the Academy is one of the "largest beneficiaries" of EduCap, which is run by Catherine Reynolds. The Academy has received at least $9 million of the $100 million total donations made by the Foundation. The Academy shares office space and staff with EduCap, and has paid at least $1.7 million for management services to ASC Management Co., whose sole shareholder is Catherine Reynolds' husband, Wayne Reynolds, the Academy of Achievement Chairman and CEO.
International Achievement Summit 
The International Achievement Summit was first hosted in 1961. The meeting was originally called the annual "Salute to Excellence" and was later renamed the "Annual Achievement Summit". This annual meeting gives exceptional graduate students the opportunity to interact one-on-one with Nobel Prize-winners in the arts and sciences, public servants, prize-winning journalists, explorers, humanitarians, financiers, athletes, and entertainers. The Academy invites leaders in these categories to attend the Summit and address the students at a series of symposiums and roundtable discussions. The Academy also organizes dinners and other social events where the students are able to meet with honorees or to listen to them speak on various topics. Approximately 30 previous awardees and 20 new ones interact with 200 domestic and international graduate students in an informal setting over the course of four days. The summit ends with a formal dinner where that year's honorees are officially presented with their awards and inducted into the Academy.
Until 1999, the meeting was held in a different U.S. city each year. In 1999, the event became the "International Achievement Summit", when the Academy held its first international meeting in Budapest, Hungary. Subsequent Summits have been held in London, England (2000), Dublin, Ireland (2002), Washington, D.C. (2003), Chicago, Illinois New York City (2005), Los Angeles, California (2006), Washington, D.C. (2007), Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (2008), Cape Town and Singita Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa (2009), Washington, D.C. (2010), and Washington D.C. (2012).
Golden Plate awardees 
The "Golden Plate" is the Academy of Achievement's official award, which is presented to honorees at the end of its annual Summit. The Academy’s Golden Plate Awards Council annually reviews a broad spectrum of candidates for invitation to the Summit. From this list, the council, composed of past "Golden Plate" honorees of the Academy, selects the 20 new awardees. Award recipients are selected for significant achievement in their fields. The Academy has presented awards to over 1,000 honorees, who have included Nobel Prize winners, presidents, scientists, athletes, authors and entertainers. Notable awardees include Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, Clare Boothe Luce, Willie Mays, Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel, Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates, Coretta Scott King, Bob Dylan and Desmond Tutu. Steve Jobs received the award in 1982, when he was 26, and in his speech to students attending the summit advised that they travel and get to know Zen Buddhists.
Student delegates 
Several hundred graduate students from the U.S. and overseas attend the "International Achievement Summit" each year. The summits were originally attended by high school students chosen based on their academic achievement and extracurricular activities. More recently, the graduate student attendees of the International Achievement Summit have been selected from a roster of recipients of scholarship and exchange programs including Rhodes, Fulbright and Marshall and faculty nominations from some leading universities. Notable student delegates include:
- Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. (Academy class of 1967)
- Eric Lander (Academy class of 1974)
- Debra Ann Livingston (Academy class of 1977)
- Bruce Reed (Academy class of 1978)
- Herschel Walker (Academy class of 1980)
- Lisa Randall (Academy class of 1980)
- Steven D. Levitt (Academy class of 1985)
- Eric Greitens (Academy class of 1999)
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Academy class of 2000)
- Vuk Jeremić (Academy class of 2003)
- Jared Cohen (Academy class of 2006)
- Wes Moore (Academy class of 2007)
- Taylor Swift (Academy class of 2008)
- Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation website
- "Who Is Catherine Reynolds?"; CBS News 60 Minutes, August 22, 2003
- "About the Academy". achievement.org. Academy of Achievement. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
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- Larry King (July 8, 1996). "Honoring the best and the brightest". USA Today. p. 2D.
- Paul Hendrickson (July 13, 1982). "Getting Along Famously; The Academy of Achievement's Corner on Celebrity". The Washington Post. p. C1.
- Jean Marbella (May 23, 1997). "A blend of talent and teens". The Baltimore Sun: p. 1E.
- Anahad O'Connor (June 7, 2005). "Obituary: Hy Peskin, 89, Photographer; Sharp Pictures, Sharp Angles". New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "Banquet Will Honor 50 for Achievements". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 7, 1961. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- Ed Power (June 10, 2002). "Academy pays tribute to political figures". The Irish Times. p. 5.
- Roxanne Roberts. "You Have a Dream". Washington Post, May 4, 2003.
- Annette Burget (May 31, 1999). "Leaders gets "salute" for excellence". The Daily News of Los Angeles.
- Ellen Warren (June 14, 2004). "A meeting of the minds: Hollywood A-listers, Nobel Prize winners and myriad other geniuses rub elbows at International Achievement Summit". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- James Nash (November 21, 2000). "Aiming a camera at himself: Murrieta man's photos as legendary as subjects". The Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA). p. B01.
- Matt Schudel (June 5, 2005). "Brian Blaine Reynolds, Also Known as Hy Peskin, Dies". The Washington Post. p. C09.
- Judy Wells (March 9, 2003). "Reynolds to speak at EVE luncheon". Florida Times-Union. p. D1.
- "Gen. Colin Powell Going 'Live' On Bell Atlantic-Sponsored Web Site". PR Newswire. February 5, 1997.
- Ann L. Trebbe; Jana Salmon-Heyneman (June 30, 1986). "The Great and the Near-Great Top Teen-Agers Advised by Adult Achievers". The Washington Post: p. C1.
- Paley, Amit R. and Valerie Strauss (July 16, 2007). "Student Loan Nonprofit a Boon for CEO". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- Vindu Goel (July 21, 1986). "Why heroes inspire: They're only human". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. D2.
- Bobby Kaplow (July 18, 1991). "Top Student Mingles With Top Celebrities". The Washington Post: p. V12.
- Manuel Roig-Franzia. "‘Achievement summit’ brings intellectual rebels together in D.C." Washington Post, Oct 28, 2012.
- Leung, Rebecca (February 11, 2009). "Who Is Catherine Reynolds?". CBS News. Retrieved November 21, 2011.