During his time as a Penn student, Michail M. Dorizas established himself as one of the finest athletes the University had ever seen. During his time as a Wharton professor, he built a reputation as one of the School’s most beloved teachers, too.
The Turkey native (1890-1957) had already served in World War I and earned Olympic glory (he won the silver medal in the javelin throw at the 1908 London Olympics) by the time he arrived at Penn in 1913 to begin his post-graduate studies. Not surprisingly, he proved to be a dominant athlete in the college ranks, too, winning three straight national wrestling championships between 1914 and 1916 while also starring on the Quakers’ track-and field and football teams. He began teaching at Wharton in 1919 and remained for the next 44 years. His classes in economic and political geography were among the most popular at the School, and he was voted Wharton’s most popular professor several times. He died on October 28, 1957. He was 67.