Academy of Achievement
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., USA|
Chairman & CEO
|Wayne R. Reynolds|
|Catherine B. Reynolds|
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.
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."
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 operates 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 a beneficiary of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, which is led by Catherine Reynolds. 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.
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, Truman, Gates Cambridge, Marshall, Soros, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellows and White House Fellows and faculty nominations from leading universities.
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- Silverman, Rachel Emma (23 July 1999). "‘The Glitziest Gathering Nobody Knows: Academy Honors Students and Celebrities". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
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