Nov 14, 2023

A Man of Many Achievements:
Alexander W. Dreyfoos’ Memorial

A Man of Many Achievements: Alexander W. Dreyfoos’ Memorial

Students participated in an event honoring the life of the philanthropist

On Monday, Nov. 13, family, friends, and colleagues gathered in the Dreyfoos Hall of the Kravis Center for the memorial of the late Alexander W. Dreyfoos. Several speakers, including the children of Mr. Dreyfoos, and the former CEO of the Kravis Center, offered personal remembrance speeches about the inventor.

Vocal majors, the Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches each performed in between personal remembrances. The vocal majors sang “Alleluia” by Elaine Hagenberg and the Philharmonic Orchestra performed a rendition of “Allegretto” from Beethoven’s Symphony number seven.

“I was feeling excited to be able to honor Dreyfoos because obviously he has given us all the opportunity to be here at Dreyfoos School of the Arts,” strings junior Mia H said. “I was just happy to be able to be there, performing for all these people who were there to commemorate him. It was nice, especially because (we were) playing a piece that I felt like was pretty perfect for the scenario.”

Several speakers mentioned Mr. Dreyfoos’ accomplishments in several fields, including engineering. Mr. Dreyfoos founded the “Photo Electronics Corporation” which sold electronic equipment to the photography industry.

George Michel, a friend of Mr. Dreyfoos’ from college, described in his speech how Mr. Dreyfoos was always looking for problems to solve. He referred to this as the “engineer’s curse”.

Mr. Dreyfoos is known for his contributions to the arts in Palm Beach County, including donations to both The Kravis Center and the school, and starting the Cultural Council, an organization dedicated to arts and culture in Palm Beach County.

“That support and public focus on the arts enabled other organizations to grow and become major players in our region,” former Kravis Center CEO Judith Mitchell wrote when asked about Mr. Dreyfoos’ acts of service. “His work really set the tone - and put into motion - the concept for Palm Beach County to become a cultural hub and thought of as a place for more than just golf, boating and fishing.”

Several speakers also noted that Mr. Dreyfoos has made contributions to the community that are not publicized. Other than public donations, Mr. Dreyfoos also acted as a mentor for his children, coworkers, and employees.

“Certainly, Alex Dreyfoos’ impact on our community from a cultural point of view is huge,” Mitchell wrote. “His name is really synonymous with arts and culture in our region.”

Story by Ellie Symons
Photo courtesy of the Dreyfoos Family