Max Kriss at Penn State, 1918

Max Kriss
Max Kriss
As an agricultural chemistry undergraduate, Max was known by fellow students as "Moxie". He lived in the tower of Old Main on the Penn State campus since it was the least expensive lodgings available. Max belonged to both the Liebig Chemical Society and the Menorah Society (which must have had precious few members).

After a 1918 BS degree and a marriage to Sima Charny at the age of 29, Max continued his studies at Penn State, earning a MS in 1920. Sixteen years later he was awarded a PhD from Yale University, a remarkable achievement for the penniless Russian immigrant who entered Philadelphia alone in 1910.

Max Kriss was the first Jewish professor in Penn State history.