Since Zariski organized a meeting in 1954 at which Serre’s work on coherent sheaves was introduced to American algebraic geometry, there has been a major algebraic geometry meeting every decade. Over the last 50 years we have had Woods Hole (1964), Arcata (1974), Bowdoin (1985), Santa Cruz (1995), and Seattle (2005). The proceedings volumes of these meetings have been extremely influential, summarizing the state of algebraic geometry at the time and pointing to future developments.