American Academy of Achievement
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American Academy of Achievement

Academy of Achievement
Academy of Achievement logo.jpg.png
Logo of the Academy of Achievement
TypeNon-profit organization
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., USA
Chairman & CEO
Wayne R. Reynolds
Vice Chairman
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.[1][2] The Academy hosts an annual International Achievement Summit, which ends with an awards ceremony, during which new members are inducted into the Academy.[3][4]


The Academy was founded in 1961 by Sports Illustrated and LIFE magazine photographer Brian Reynolds.[5][6]

In 1985, Reynolds' son, Wayne Reynolds took over the leadership, becoming the executive director of the Academy[2] and, in 1999, was selected as the board chairman.[3][5][7] In the 1990s, Reynolds moved the organization from Malibu, California, to its new foundation headquarters building in Washington, D.C.[8]

In 2007 the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation donated $9 million to the Academy.[8][7][9][10]

International Achievement Summit

On September 9, 1961, the Academy hosted its first International Achievement Summit.[2] The summit, held in Monterey, California,[11] included a "Banquet of the Golden Plate" award 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.[2][6] 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.[11][6][12]

The Golden Plate is awarded for an individual's contributions to science, the arts, public service, sports and industry.[11][6] The academy has held a summit and award banquet annually since 1961.[13]

On October 27, 2012, Academy celebrated its 50th anniversary with a summit in Washington, D.C.[14]

The latest summit was held in New York City 2019.[13]

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.[15] The summits were originally attended by high school students chosen based on their academic achievement and extracurricular activities.[16][3] With time, the event evolved into a gathering of speakers and panelists which The Wall Street Journal called in 1999 "perhaps the glitziest gathering of intellect and celebrity that no one has ever heard of."[17]


  1. ^ Reilly, Jerome. "Clinton and Gorbachev at secret Dublin summit". independent. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Nix, Shann (June 26, 1989). "Looking Up to the Stars: Where 50 top celebs dazzle 400 students" (PDF). San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Roberts, Roxanne (May 4, 2003). "You Have a Dream". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ Warren, Ellen (June 14, 2004). "A meeting of the minds". Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ a b O'Connor, Anahad (June 7, 2005). "Obituary: Hy Peskin, 89, Photographer; Sharp Pictures, Sharp Angles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "Banquet Will Honor 50 for Achievements". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 7, 1961. Retrieved 2011.
  7. ^ a b Schudel, Matt (June 5, 2005). "Brian Blaine Reynolds, Also Known as Hy Peskin, Dies; Accomplished Sports Photographer Founded Academy of Achievement". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ a b Montgomery, David (April 4, 2009). "D.C. philanthropists Catherine and Wayne Reynolds pledge millions". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ Boyle, Katherine (March 29, 2013). "Wayne Reynolds makes a lavish push for a bold plan for the Corcoran". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ Paley, Amit R.; Strauss, Valerie (July 16, 2007). "Student Loan Nonprofit a Boon for CEO". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011.
  11. ^ a b c "Dazzling Decorations, Fine Food: Golden Plate Planned for 1962: First Annual Event Wins High Praise". Monterey Peninsula Herald. September 11, 1961.
  12. ^ Pellesen, Gayle (June 27, 1977). "Golden Platers". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ a b Weekes, Julia Ann. "Folk icon Judy Collins postpones NH show amid coronovirus pandemic but schedules a return: "It's not going to last forever'". Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (October 28, 2012). "'Achievement summit' brings intellectual rebels together in D.C." Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ Feloni, Richard. "Google cofounder Sergey Brin says these 2 books most influenced him". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ Burget Bailey, Annette (May 31, 1999). "LEADERS GETS 'SALUTE' FOR EXCELLENCE". LA Daily News.
  17. ^ Journal, Rachel Emma Silverman Staff Reporter of The Wall Street. "The Glitziest Gathering Nobody Knows: Academy Honors Students and Celebrities". WSJ. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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