Academy of Achievement

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Academy of Achievement
Logo of the Academy of Achievement
Formation 1961
Type Non-profit organization
Headquarters Washington, D.C., USA
Chairman & CEO
Wayne R. Reynolds[1][2]
Vice Chairman
Catherine B. Reynolds[3][4]

The Academy of Achievement is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that brings high profile, successful people from various fields together with promising young achievers to inspire them to succeed.[5]

The organization hosts an annual International Achievement Summit, a gathering of speakers and panelists which the Wall Street Journal called "perhaps the glitziest gathering of intellect and celebrity that no one has ever heard of."[6]

Academy of Achievement building

The Academy's mission is to recognize outstanding achievement in a variety of fields, including the arts, business, science, politics and the humanities.[7] 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.[8][9] 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[edit]

Brian Reynolds led the Academy as its executive director[10] until 1985, when his son Wayne Reynolds assumed leadership.[2][11] Wayne Reynolds is the current chairman of the Academy of Achievement, which he manages with his wife, Catherine B. Reynolds, the vice chairman.[12] In the 1990s, Reynolds moved the organization from Malibu, California to its current headquarters in Washington, D.C.[2] In addition to the Academy's annual events, it also operates the Museum of Achievement and a website, which features biographies and videos of interviews with Academy of Achievement inductees.[13]

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[2][11] and the Academy's website states that its funding is primarily provided by the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation.[14][15]

In 2007, the Washington Post reported that the Academy is a beneficiary of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, which is led by Catherine Reynolds.[16] The Academy has received $9 million of the more than $100 million in donations made by the Foundation to an array of arts, education and social enterprise organizations.[17]

Student delegates[edit]

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.[8] 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, Truman, Gates Cambridge, Marshall,[13] Soros,[18] Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellows[19] and White House Fellows and faculty nominations from leading universities.[13]


  1. ^ “A fresh voice for the Corcoran Gallery’s board”; The Washington Post, March 9, 2013
  2. ^ a b c d Montgomery, David (March 5, 2013). "Wayne Reynolds, former Ford’s Theatre chair, pitches to save Corcoran Gallery". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation website
  4. ^ "Who Is Catherine Reynolds?"; CBS News 60 Minutes, August 22, 2003
  5. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (28 October 2012). "‘Achievement summit’ brings intellectual rebels together in D.C.". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Silverman, Rachel Emma (23 July 1999). "‘The Glitziest Gathering Nobody Knows: Academy Honors Students and Celebrities". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Ed Power (June 10, 2002). "Academy pays tribute to political figures" (PDF). The Irish Times. p. 5. 
  8. ^ a b "LEADERS GETS `SALUTE' FOR EXCELLENCE". HighBeam Research. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Banquet Will Honor 50 for Achievements". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 7, 1961. Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Brian Blaine Reynolds, Also Known as Hy Peskin, Dies; Accomplished Sports Photographer Founded Academy of Achievement". HighBeam Research. 
  12. ^ "Record Gift for Kennedy Center; Businesswoman Gives $100 Million To Building Fund". HighBeam Research. 
  13. ^ a b c "You Have a Dream; Achievement Summiteers Bask in The Past and Presence of Greatness". HighBeam Research. 
  14. ^ "Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation website". 
  15. ^ Boyle, Katherine (March 29, 2013). "Wayne Reynolds makes a lavish push for a bold plan for the Corcoran". The Washington Post. 
  16. ^ Milk, Leslie (January 11, 2012). "Washingtonians of the Year 2011: Catherine Reynolds" (PDF). Washingtonian. 
  17. ^ Paley, Amit R. and Valerie Strauss (July 16, 2007). "Student Loan Nonprofit a Boon for CEO". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans". 
  19. ^ "HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program". 

External links[edit]