Renate and Alex Dreyfoos
We had the opportunity to ask Alex Dreyfoos a few questions regarding his tireless philanthropic support of the cultural arts and sciences in the Palm Beach area:
The Max Planck Florida Foundation received a generous $1 million gift in March 2014 from Alexander and Renate Dreyfoos. In honor of the couple’s gift, the central atrium at the research institute has been designated the Alexander and Renate Dreyfoos Atrium.
Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience’s CEO and Scientific Director, Dr. David Fitzpatrick stated, “Mr. Dreyfoos continues to be one of our most vocal champions for neuroscience research.”
Alex Dreyfoos’ connection to science and artistic expression is longstanding. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before serving in the U.S. Air Force in Germany where he managed a photographic reconnaissance laboratory.
He later earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. In 1963, Dreyfoos founded Photo Electronics Corporation, where he invented the Video Color Negative Analyzer (VCNA), marketed worldwide by Kodak and now part of a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. A motion picture version of the VCNA earned his company an Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He holds 10 U.S. patents, is a lifetime trustee of the MIT Corporation, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He owned WPEC TV-12 from 1973 to 1996.
The West Palm Beach philanthropist and his wife, Renate, are well known for their leadership roles in establishing the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, as well as supporting The Dreyfoos School for the Performing Arts.
Dreyfoos confided that his primary motivation for taking the lead on establishing a world-renowned arts center in our region was initially a selfish one. He wanted to attract great talent and leading institutes to the area. The couple’s leadership in the arts started a domino effect.
Next, his hope was that scientific researchers as well as the talented people who assist them would eventually make their homes in Palm Beach County. Dreyfoos completed a term on the Board of Trustees of The Scripps Research Institute. He is currently an active trustee on the Board of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.