The Association for Academic Surgery (AAS) was established to inspire and develop academic surgeons. Since its founding in 1966, each decade has been marked by continued growth and innovations. The era of 2001-2010 was a decade notable for its focus on inclusiveness and diversity. In those ten years, the AAS grew its membership from all surgical backgrounds, established defining programs that remain today, and invested substantially in international outreach. In this article, we review these historical highlights and will demonstrate that the AAS remains the most important home for the young academic surgeon.