Philip L. Barlow, a nationally known expert in the field of Mormon culture and history, will retire from Utah State University in December as the Leonard J. Arrington Endowed Chair in Mormon Studies.
He has taught at USU’s Religious Studies Program, which was the first program in Utah enabling students to major in religion, and he said it has grown in its 10 years.
“Yes it’s going better than ever,” exclaimed Barlow, “great support from the President and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dean Joe Ward and the history department, classics and religious program all really integrated well.”
During post-graduate studies at Harvard Dr. Barlow served as a counselor in a bishopric to Mitt Romney. One day at a meeting in Mitt’s home, Michael Jackson’s name came up and the future presidential candidate went into full moon walk mode.
”He got up and he started singing Billie Jean and doing the moon walk, sliding gracefully backwards, this elegant business consultant being so attuned then to the depth of pop culture, I felt was very admirable in an amusing sort of a way.”
Upon retirement Dr. Barlow will join BYU’s Maxwell Institute, with responsibility for its scholarly programs, while continuing his research and writing.