In 1967, Wisconsin-native W.P. “Buz” Barlow Jr. served as senior class president at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Fifty years later he’s helping promote the Golden Titan Reunion set for May 12-13 in conjunction with spring commencement activities.
At the reunion, graduates of the class of 1967 and earlier will return to campus for a weekend of activity with lots of opportunity to reminisce. One of Barlow’s favorite UWO memories is helping start the campus radio station, WRST. He also served as sports director for WRST.
“I was involved in the sports side of things, so we started traveling with the football, basketball and baseball teams and we got to broadcast home and away games,” Barlow said. “That was really the highlight of my undergraduate phase.”
Barlow was honored twice by UWO as “Student of the Month.” As a senior, he was honored with the “Man of the Year” award by his fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma, and he was honored twice for winning his chapter, Beta Mu, scholarship award.
“During my junior year, our chapter was voted the outstanding fraternity in the nation so that was a significant honor for the University,” Barlow said.
Barlow graduated with a double major in English and radio tv film. He credits Jarvis Bush, UWO faculty adviser and English literature professor, for helping him figure out what major would help him become a trial lawyer.
“I learned how to write through my English major and how to speak because of the radio station and my other major,” Barlow said. “To this very day, those things have carried me through life and I couldn’t have asked for more. It was all because of his tremendous advice.”
After Barlow graduated from law school at Marquette University, he started the Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) student legal services at UWO in 1970. Barlow said the UW Oshkosh program was the third in the nation that actually had a lawyer representing students and student-related matters.
“We saw a need for students to get some free advice and to be able to talk to somebody so they weren’t taken advantage of,” Barlow said. “Students need to be able to understand their rights and responsibilities within the community.”
Buz worked at Student Legal Services from 1970 to 1979 before he becoming a trial lawyer for many famous cases. One case included representing the man who stole Elvis Presley’s body from the cemetery in Memphis.
“The highlight of my legal career was representing one of President Clinton’s friends in what’s known as the Whitewater Trial,” Barlow said.
Barlow currently owns Open Range Global Advisors, which is based in Dallas, Texas. His company is an investment advisory and has partners in London.
“I speak a lot around the country on what we call today social entrepreneurship,” Barlow said. “That means we are trying to get corporations and business people to understand that they have an obligation, a responsibility, to give back to society and to the community.”
Helping others and traveling around the world, including to Central America, the Caribbean and throughout Africa, has shaped Barlow and his world view. His time spent helping in the Third World includes establishing micro-enterprise banks, leading mission trips and enhancing women’s initiatives.
“I took two sabbaticals, one that was for two years and one that was for five years, to do faith-based work and I was able to use my legal background and skills to help,” Barlow said.
The UW Oshkosh Golden Titan Reunion begins with an opening reception at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center on Friday, May 12, followed by dinner at the Ground Round located at the Best Western. The celebration will continue on Saturday with a tour of the updated UWO campus, a complimentary luncheon and an opportunity to don Golden Titan gowns and lead in the 2017 graduates at the afternoon commencement ceremony.