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Academy of Achievement: Golden Plate Recipients
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The Golden Plate Award is presented annually since 1961 by the Academy of Achievement to approximately twenty-five guests of honor at the International Achievement Summit.

Chosen by the Academy's Awards Council and other distinguished authorities, these men and women of exceptional accomplishment in the sciences, professions, business, industry, arts, literature, sports, entertainment, and public service are acclaimed ... not as winners, but as "representatives of the many who excel."

This page presents a complete list of honorees from the years 2008 through 2012. Selected lists of Honorees from other years can be found at the links below, along with a Summary of Golden Plate Recipients grouped by decade and field of endeavor.

Selected Honorees: 1961 - 1976
Selected Honorees: 1977 - 1992
Selected Honorees: 1993 - 2007
Summary of Golden Plate Recipients


Lee R. Berger, Ph.D.
The Origins of Humanity

David Brooks
Columnist & Cultural Commentator

Ray Dalio
Hedge Fund Master

Louise Glück
Former U.S. Poet Laureate

Hon. Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Attorney General

Salman Khan
Pioneer of Online Education

Hon. Edward J. Markey
U.S. House of Representatives

Audra McDonald
Five Tony Awards

Hon. Leon Panetta
U.S. Secretary of Defense

General David H. Petraeus
Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Kevin A. Plank
Pioneer of High-Tech Sportswear

Adam G. Riess, Ph.D.
Nobel Prize in Physics

James B. Rogers, Jr.
International Investor & Author

Nouriel Roubini, Ph.D.
Economic Oracle

Joel Sartore
Portraits of Natural Wonder

Hon. Sonia Sotomayor
Supreme Court of the United States

Natasha Trethewey
Poet Laureate of the United States

Roger Y. Tsien, Ph.D.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry


Tony Bennett
Legendary Singer

Jackson Browne
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Hal David
Songwriters Hall of Fame

Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D.
Founder, Partners in Health

Nadine Gordimer
Nobel Prize for Literature

Hon. Barbara Hogan
Champion of Justice and Public Health

Beverly and Dereck Joubert
Award-winning Documentary Filmmakers

Sol Kerzner
Chairman and CEO
Kerzner International Holdings Limited

Johnny Mathis
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Chris Matthews
Host, MSNBC's "Hardball"

Alexander McCall Smith
Best-selling Author

Hon. Navanethem Pillay
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
Legend of the Liberation Struggle

Anthony D. Romero
Guardian of Civil Liberties

Hon. Albie Sachs
Constitutional Court of South Africa

Wole Soyinka
Nobel Prize for Literature

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Ph.D.
Nobel Prize in Economics


Rick Atkinson
Pulitzer Prize for History

Joshua Bell
Master Violinist

David Doubilet
Undersea Photography

Kenneth C. Griffin
Financier & Patron of the Arts

Khaled Hosseini, M.D.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns"

H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Nobel Prize for Peace

Janusz Kaminski
Two Oscars for Cinematography

Nicholas D. Kristof
Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism

W.S. Merwin
Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry

Greg Mortenson
"Three Cups of Tea"

Michael Ondaatje
Author, "The English Patient"

Svante Pääbo, Ph.D.
Evolutionary Genetics

Lisa Randall, Ph.D.
Theoretical Physics

Bill Russell
Basketball Hall of Fame

Professor Barry Scheck
Co-founder, Innocence Project

Jonathan D. Spence, Ph.D.
Scholar of Chinese Civilization

Andy Stern
Nation's Fastest-growing Union

Deborah Voigt
Opera's Dramatic Soprano

Brian Wilson
Music Producer & Performer

Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D.
Nobel Prize in Medicine