Kurt Wallach Awarded Honorary Doctorate from FAU

Kurt Wallach

(Photo by Alex Dolce)

By brittany sylvestri | 12/2/2020

Florida Atlantic University has awarded Kurt Wallach an honorary doctorate in humane letters in recognition of his lifelong commitment to Holocaust education and his extraordinary achievements in the face of unimaginable obstacles. 

Wallach is a Holocaust survivor, U.S. veteran, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist who has dedicated his life to educating others about the Holocaust to ensure that the lessons about this horrific chapter in our world's history remain relevant today and to future generations.

FAU President John Kelly was in attendance to bestow the honor along with a few other members of the FAU administration.

“Honorary degrees are given for sustained achievement of lasting significance, including eminent achievement in scholarship, outstanding achievements in the arts, or high distinction in public service. Kurt Wallach certainly meets these requirements,” said Kelly. “It is such a pleasure to honor a truly outstanding business leader, patriot and dedicated advocate for the Jewish community.”

Wallach, along with his wife, Marilyn, are managing partners for K&M Capital and general partners for Kurtell Growth Industries, Ltd., a real estate investment corporation. 

When he was 7 years old, Wallach fled the Nazis from Germany in 1933 along with his parents and siblings. Three years later, the family once again escaped the Nazis from Holland and secured passage on the Queen Mary to New York. The family then boarded a train to Cleveland to begin a new life in the United States.

Wallach enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 18 years old. Following his time in the military, he received a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and completed graduate credits toward a master’s degree in hearing and speech pathology.

Wallach founded, owned and operated “Kurt Wasco of Cleveland,” specializing in aluminum windows and doors. In 1956, he sold the company prior to moving to Florida, and then established Kurtell & Co. in Miami. In 1971, he renamed the company Kurtell Growth Industries, Ltd. 

Wallach has authored several books including “Remembering Mark: A Biography of a Father;” “Kurt’s Journey;” and “Tennis: The Whole Game: its plots, its shots, and its nots.” 

He also wrote three textbooks on the atrocities of the Holocaust: “The Killing of the Jews,” “Murder Beyond Madness,” and “Man’s Inhumanity to Man,” beginning at the age of 87 years and completing his last book at the age of 93 years. 

“Kurt Wallach’s life is a model of lifelong learning and community engagement, showing the impact that one individual can have in making a difference in educating against anti-Semitism or hate to any individual,” said Michael J. Horswell, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. “FAU remains committed to ‘educate’ to ensure we foster students who value differences and who are eager to broaden their understanding of others.”