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 led 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, Michael Jordan, Wole Soyinka, John Updike,  Ronald Reagan,John Wayne, Mickey Mantle, Maya Angelou, Desmond Tutu, Neil Armstrong, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Watson and Francis Crick, Tim Berners-Lee, Dizzy Gillespie, Audrey Hepburn, George Lucas, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Henry Kissinger, Roger Bannister, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Benazir Bhutto, Shimon Peres, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Steve Jobs.
The Academy of Achievement was founded by  Sports Illustrated and LIFE magazine photographer Brian Reynolds in 1961 to honor high achievers and to inspire young people by introducing them to high achieving individuals. On his many assignments as a magazine photographer, Brian Reynolds realized that high achieving individuals rarely had the opportunity to meet and share ideas with leaders in other disciplines. And, with that vision, Reynolds created the Academy of Achievement to bring together accomplished individuals from diverse fields of endeavor to meet one another and encourage the next generation of young leaders. The first event hosted by the Academy was a "Banquet of the Golden Plate" on September 9, 1961 in Monterey, California. The inspiration for the naming of the Banquet of the Golden Plate was the gold plate service "used only on very special occasions" at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s. At the Academy program, individuals were awarded the Academy's "Golden Plate" for their contributions as leaders in science, the arts, public service, sports 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 second annual Banquet of the Golden Plate was held in San Diego, California on December 29, 1962. Among the guests of honor in 1962 were Murray Gell-Mann, Robert Stack and Rafer Johnson. Louis Nizer gave the keynote speech. The 50th anniversary Banquet of the Golden Plate was held in Washington, D.C. on October 27, 2012. The guests of honor at the 2012 Summit included Leon Panetta, Eric Holder, Sonia Sotomayor, Ray Dalio, David Brooks and Louise Glück.
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.
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 "International 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 concludes with a formal dinner where that year's honorees are officially presented with their Golden Plate awards and inducted into the Academy of Achievement.
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 numerous honorees, who have included Nobel Prize winners, presidents, scientists, athletes, authors and entertainers. Notable awardees include Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, Frank Capra, George Cukor, William Wyler, Clare Boothe Luce,Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Bill Russell, Rosa Parks,Elie Wiesel, Itzhak Perlman,Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Michael Bloomberg,  Robert Rauschenberg,Ralph Lauren,Oprah Winfrey,Barbra Streisand, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay,Toni Morrison, Wynton Marsalis, August Wilson, Edward Albee, Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Mike Nichols, Jim Henson, Jimmy Carter, John Wooden, Bear Bryant,Elizabeth Taylor, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese, Wayne Gretzky, Peyton Manning, Phil Knight,Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, Stephen Bechtel, John D. MacArthur,Helen Hayes, Julie Andrews, Linus Pauling, Edward Teller, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Billy Graham, Frank Gehry, Louis Kahn, Philip Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Jane Goodall, Sandra Day O'Connor, Coretta Scott King, Leontyne Price, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Alex Haley, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, James Michener, Herman Wouk, Gerald Ford, John Glenn, Chuck Yeager and Colin Powell.Steve Jobs received the award in 1982, when he was 26, and in his speech to the Academy student delegates, he reflected upon innovation and creativity and said, “but a lot of it’s the ability to sorta zoom out like you’re in the city and you can look at the whole thing from about the 80th floor down at the city, and while other people are trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B reading these stupid little maps, you can just see it all out in front of you....But the key thing is that if you’re gonna make connections which are innovative, you’ve got to connect two experiences together, that you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does, or else you’re going to make the same connections, and then you won’t be innovative, and then nobody will give you an award.”
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. Notable student delegates include:
- Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. (Academy class of 1967)
- Eric Lander (Academy class of 1974) 
- Joseph E. Tofalo (Academy class of 1977)
- 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)
- Noam Elkies (Academy class of 1982)
- Steven D. Levitt (Academy class of 1985)
- Jesse M. Furman (Academy class of 1990)
- Tara Lipinski (Academy class of 1996)
- Eric Greitens (Academy class of 1999)
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Academy class of 2000) 
- Pardis Sabeti (Academy class of 2000)
- Beth Shapiro (Academy class of 2000)
- Amy B. Smith (Academy class of 2000)
- Juan Manuel Galán Pachón (Academy class of 2002)
- Vuk Jeremić (Academy class of 2003)
- Wes Moore (Academy class of 2004)
- Jared Cohen (Academy class of 2006)
- Rye Barcott (Academy class of 2008)
- Jennifer Robinson (Academy class of 2008)
- Taylor Swift (Academy class of 2008)
- “A fresh voice for the Corcoran Gallery’s board”; The Washington Post, March 9, 2013
- Montgomery, David (March 5, 2013). "Wayne Reynolds, former Ford’s Theatre chair, pitches to save Corcoran Gallery". The Washington Post.
- Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation website
- "Who Is Catherine Reynolds?"; CBS News 60 Minutes, August 22, 2003
- "A Hy Peskin Tribute". Sports Illustrated. June 3, 2005.
- Anahad O'Connor (June 7, 2005). "Obituary: Hy Peskin, 89, Photographer; Sharp Pictures, Sharp Angles". New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- Annette Burget Bailey (May 31, 1999). "Leaders Gets ‘Salute’ For Excellence". Daily News. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- "About the Academy". achievement.org. Academy of Achievement. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
- Dallas News Staff (June 25, 1970). "John Wayne Honored". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
- Larry King (July 8, 1996). "Honoring the best and the brightest". USA Today. p. 2D.
- Gayle Pellesen (June 27, 1977). "Golden Platers: Col. Sanders Meets Gen. Doolittle". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Benjamin Kerstein (December 13, 2002). "BGU’s international achiever". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 19, 2013.
- Staff Report (October 1991). "Elks Scholars Honored in "Salute to Excellence"". The Elks Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Rachel Emma Silverman (July 23, 1999). "The Glitziest Gathering Nobody Knows: Obscure Academy Honors Students And Celebrities". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- Shann Nix (June 26, 1989). "Looking Up to The Stars: Where 50 top celebs dazzle 400 students". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Roxanne Roberts. "You Have a Dream". Washington Post, May 4, 2003.
- Frey, Bridget (August 2, 1995). "Special Invitation: Academic achievers celebrate with celebrities.". Sun-Sentinel.
- Paul Hendrickson (July 13, 1982). "Getting Along Famously: The Academy of Achievement’s Corner on Celebrity". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Jean Novotny (June 27, 1987). "Top guns: Academy salutes world-changers". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Neil Leifer (June 13, 2005). "Hy Peskin 1915-2005: Off on His Own". SIVault. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Jean Marbella (May 23, 1997). "A blend of talent and teens". The Baltimore Sun: p. 1E.
- "Dazzling Decorations, Fine Food: Golden Plate Planned for 1962: First Annual Event Wins High Praise". Monterey Peninsula Herald. September 11, 1961. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- "Souvenir of the Palace Hotel".
- "Banquet Will Honor 50 for Achievements". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 7, 1961. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
- "OceanHouse Dinner of Golden Plate Honors Notables: Salute Accorded 71 for Achievements". Dell Webb’s OceanHouse San Diego. January 1963. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- Manuel Roig-Franzia. "‘Achievement summit’ brings intellectual rebels together in D.C." Washington Post, Oct 28, 2012.
- Ed Power (June 10, 2002). "Academy pays tribute to political figures". The Irish Times. p. 5.
- 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.
- "Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation website".
- Boyle, Katherine (March 29, 2013). "Wayne Reynolds makes a lavish push for a bold plan for the Corcoran". The Washington Post.
- Milk, Leslie (January 11, 2012). "Washingtonians of the Year 2011: Catherine Reynolds". Washingtonian.
- Paley, Amit R. and Valerie Strauss (July 16, 2007). "Student Loan Nonprofit a Boon for CEO". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- Judy Bachrach (June 27, 1978). "Gathering of the Greats—And Hopes of Tomorrow: The Mighty Meet 370 Young Achievers At the Olympus of Excellence". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- L.D. Seits (June 24, 1978). "They Love Cauthen: ‘No great student’ is among greats honored at Golden Plate Awards". The Kentucky Press. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- 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.
- Jim O’Kelley (November 1992). "American Academy of Achievement’s "Salute to Excellence"". The Elks Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Jim O’Kelley and Aerlyn Dawn (November 1994). "Academy Celebrates Excellence / The Best-Kept Secret in America". The Elks Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Staff Report (September 1998). "Inspiring The Future: The 1998 Achievement Summit". The Elks Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Liang L. Young (August 20, 2000). "Steller students mingle with movers and shakers". Boston Sunday Globe. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
- Staff Report (September 2000). "Ideas Intertwine with the Unexpected at the 39th Annual Achievement Summit". The Elks Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Greg Rienzi (August 2, 1999). "Budapest summit conference invites 17 SAIS students". The JHU Gazette. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Paul Colgan (June 9, 2002). "Clinton leads elite at secret Irish summit". The Sunday Times. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Clodagh Mulcahy (June 3, 2002). "The day I met Bill Clinton for a chat about the world". The Irish Times. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Leung, Rebecca (February 11, 2009). "Who Is Catherine Reynolds?". CBS News. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Bill Greer (June 27, 1975). "800 feted at glittering banquet". Sunday Courier and Press. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Bridget Gutierrez (May 5, 2001). "Generation’s excellence draws a four-star salute". San Antonio Express. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Jane Ann Morrison (June 29, 1992). "Academy honors achievers: Star Barbra Streisand talks up feminism during an American Academy of Achievement banquet.". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Jane Ann Morrison (June 28, 1992). "Bright students, stars shine together: The nation’s smartest high school seniors hobnob with celebrities in LV". Sunday Courier and Press. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Rebecca Jones (June 30, 1985). "Whiz kids rub elbows with right stuff". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- "Steve Jobs remarks at 1982 Academy Summit in New Orleans, LA". 1982.
- "The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans".
- "HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program".
- Staff Report (September 1999). "Young American Dreams Abound at the 38th Annual Achievement Summit". The Elks Magazine. Retrieved August 8, 2013.