Claude A. Buss

Statesman, Scholar, Mentor: 1946-1998

Sepia-toned newspaper photo of eight men standing in two rows, all in academic robes.

[Claude Buss (top row, second from right) receives an honorary degree from the University of Southern California, 1945]

In 1946, Buss joined Stanford's history faculty, where he would teach courses on Southeast Asia, China, and American foreign policy for the next 22 years. Decades later, he would still be remembered by his former students as one of the best professors any of them had ever encountered.

In 1957 and 1959, he was a Fulbright exchange professor at the University of the Philippines, and in 1968, he received a State Department scroll of honor recognizing his "service to the cause of Philippine-American friendship."

Color photograph of a group of people standing in front of a building on the NPS campus. Buss is in the center of the group.

[Buss (center left) at the Naval Postgraduate School, date unknown]

In 1976, Buss joined the National Security Affairs department of the Naval Postgraduate School, where he taught Asian area studies for the next two decades. He regularly travelled to East and Southeast Asia, and was often received by influential leaders in the region.

Black and white newspaper photo of an elderly Buss leading a classroom discussion, shot between the heads of two of his students.

[Buss joins in a classroom discussion at NPS, early 1990s]

Even after suffering a stroke in 1997, Buss continued to research and teach. As he was unable to travel to NPS, his students made the 200-mile round trip to Palo Alto once a week, so Buss could teach them in his home. His final book, Pacific Security, was published a week before his death.

Claude Buss passed away on November 17, 1998. He is remembered by all who knew him as a man of keen intelligence, boundless enthusiasm, and rare judgment, a master statesman, and a beloved mentor to generations of students.