Vol 3. Issue 35 / November 15, 2004
West Palm Beach Philanthropist Alexander W. Dreyfoos Announces $1 Million Gift to Scripps Research
Alexander W. Dreyfoos of West Palm Beach, Florida, announced Monday he and his wife, Renate, are contributing $1 million to The Scripps Research Institute, currently expanding its biomedical science operations in Palm Beach County.
Dreyfoos, elected to the Scripps Research Board of Trustees last February, made the announcement at the board's first meeting in Palm Beach County on November 8. He and Mrs. Dreyfoos hosted the trustees last evening at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, which he serves as founding chairman.
"The Dreyfoos gift will help to further biomedical research and contribute to human health," said Scripps Research President Richard A. Lerner. "As they have done repeatedly in the past, Alex and Renate have chosen to make a major contribution that serves us all. We are truly thankful for their generosity and leadership."
Alexander Dreyfoos owns and directs The Dreyfoos Group, a private capital management firm that grew out of his previous ventures. These include the Photo Electronics Corporation, a company he formed in 1963 to manufacture electronic equipment for the photographic industry, and WPEC-TV-12, the ABC, then CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, with which he was involved from 1973 to 1996.
"We are proud and excited to support The Scripps Research Institute, particularly as it gets off the ground here in Palm Beach County," Dreyfoos said. "The scientists and their research can make a significant difference, both in health care and in the quality of our lives."
Dreyfoos holds a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is an inventor, holding 10 U.S. and numerous foreign patents in the fields of electronics and photography.
His Photo Electronics Corporation designed and manufactured the digital image processing Professional Video Analyzing Computer used by color laboratories for making high quality photographs. The company also invented the LaserColor printer, which produced extremely high quality, electronically generated color prints from color slides. In 1971, the company received an "Oscar" from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its development of a motion picture video analyzer. An earlier version of the video analyzer is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Dreyfoos was instrumental in forming and served as the first chairman of the Palm Beach County Council of the Arts. He spearheaded efforts to build a world-class performing arts center in Palm Beach County and continues to serve as founding chairman of the $100 million Kravis Center, which opened in 1992.
He is a lifetime trustee of the MIT Corporation, serving on several of its visiting committees. The Dreyfoos Building at MIT, designed by Frank Gehry, was recently dedicated.
In 1997, Dreyfoos made the largest private contribution to a public school in Florida when he pledged $1 million to support Palm Beach County's public arts magnet high school, subsequently named for him.
Dreyfoos was recently named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious learned society composed of the world's leading scientists, scholars, artists, business people, and public leaders. He serves on numbers public and nonprofit boards and has received numerous distinctions and honors for community involvement, including an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
Renate Dreyfoos, a native of Germany who came to the United States as a young child, lived in Pittsburgh before settling in Florida. She joined Photo Electronics in 1969, where she became vice president of human resources. She left the firm in 1992 to follow a career in banking. She and Alexander married in 2000. Her personal interests include gourmet cooking, needlework, and photography.
Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu