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Arrington Mormon Lecture Series Celebrates 20th Year

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

2014 Arrington Lecturer Ronald W. Walker

Noted historian Ronald W. Walker offers this year's Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Thursday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m., Logan LDS Tabernacle.

An emeritus history professor and noted Mormon history expert has been selected as the next speaker for the 20th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture, an event coordinated by Special Collections and Archives, a division of University Libraries at Utah State University.

The 2014 speaker is Ronald W. Walker, who presents “Heroes and Hero Worship: Brigham Young and the Utah War.” The lecture is Thursday, Oct. 2, and is free.

USU’s Brad Cole coordinates the lecture series on behalf of USU, and has a long association with both the lecture series and the Arrington Foundation, and he notes a close tie between Mr. Walker and the lecture series’ namesake.

“Ron Walker brings a broad view of Mormon history thanks to his experience of the last 30 years,” Cole said. “He was one of the first professional historians hired by Leonard at the LDS Church Archives in the 1970s and he has gone on to have an amazing career as a Mormon historian — he’s been a recipient of almost every award given by the Mormon History Association.”

Cole said he considers Walker’s place in the lecture series as a capstone event.

Arrington’s papers were donated to USU’s Special Collections and Archives and offering an annual lecture on some facet of Mormon history was part of the gift agreement. Walker’s lecture marks the 20th anniversary of the lecture series.

“I believe that we have met Leonard’s expectations for the lecture series,” Cole said. “We’ve had a mix of historians with long careers as well as those just making a name for themselves. We’ve balanced the series between current themes and long standing themes of Mormon history.”

This year’s speaker is a professional historian living in Salt Lake City. He is a professor of history, emeritus, at Brigham Young University.

Walker is the author or editor of eight books and more than five dozen historical articles, dealing mainly with Western, Utah and Mormon history. The Mormon History Association has recognized his work with multiple citations and awards, including its Best Book Award, which he has received twice. He has also served as president of the Mormon History Association.

His current writing projects include biographies of Brigham Young and Heber J. Grant, a documentary collection of letters exchanged between Brigham Young and Thomas Kane (with Matthew Grow), a collection of documents dealing with Brigham Young and Native American Indians (with Dean Jessee) and a history of the Utah War (with Matthew Grow).

Philip Barlow, who holds the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at USU, offered insights into this year’s speaker.

“Ronald Walker brings brilliance, experience and maturity to the lecture,” Barlow said. “His earliest publications established him as one of the most eloquent, sophisticated and original scholars studying the Mormon past.”

The Arrington Mormon History Lecture is open to everyone. It is held at the Logan LDS Tabernacle, 50 N. Main, Logan. It is sponsored by USU Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, The Leonard J. Arrington Lecture and Archives Foundation; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Utah State University.

Related links:

Contact: Brad Cole, (435) 797-8268,

Writer: Patrick Williams, (435) 797-1354,

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