Peter Buseck was born in Frankfurt, Germany.  Under threat from the Nazis, his parents and he immigrated to the United States when he was only 17 months old, shortly before the start of World War II.  He grew up in the U.S. and was fortunate to identify as an American for as long as he can remember, although he heard many stories of events in Germany throughout his youth and after.

Peter studied geology at Antioch College and received graduate degrees from Columbia University.  After a postdoctoral appointment in Washington, D.C., he accepted a faculty position at Arizona State University.  He went through the ranks and has been a Regent’s Professor since 1989, with appointments in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  He has had visiting faculty appointments at Harvard University, Oxford University, the University of Paris (VI, VII), and Stanford University.  His specialty is transmission electron microscopy of meteorites, minerals, and airborne pollutants.  A new mineral, buseckite, was recently named in his honor.  Peter is deeply and constantly grateful for the opportunities offered to his family and him through the great honor and privilege of being an American citizen.


Alice Bien Buseck was born in New York City to a father who came from Eastern Europe as a child and an American-born mother. Growing up with this background, she was deeply aware of both the challenges and opportunities of citizenship in the United States. Her father, naturalized at a young age, grew up in a family that had to struggle to make ends meet financially.  However, by the time Alice was born, the family was financially secure.  She was a first-generation citizen who was able to fully enjoy the fruits of American citizenship, and she completely identified as a citizen.

Alice attended Little Red School House and Elizabeth Irwin High School in Greenwich Village.  She earned her undergraduate degree from University of Michigan and a teaching degree from Columbia University.  After raising four wonderful children, she obtained a piano performance degree from Arizona State University.  She was a devoted, generous, and loving caregiver of people when they were in need.  Public service was a most important value for her.  She was a volunteer for many years for numerous organizations and causes: Literacy Volunteers, Meals on Wheels, Community Preschool, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Tempe Home Services Board, the public radio station KBAQ, and more.  She was also a co-founder of the Tempe Cooperative Preschool.  In 1993, she was named Volunteer of the Year by the City of Tempe as well as by Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County.  In those roles she exemplified the importance and privilege of American citizenship — volunteerism and civic engagement.

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