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Circus World celebrates its 60th anniversary

Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Thank You, 72 podcast and radio series remembers the UW–Madison grads who helped make the museum a success

June 27, 2019

MADISON, WI (June 28, 2019) — On July 1, 1959, a state treasure opened to the public. Circus World in Baraboo was originally the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus from 1884 through 1918.

In 1954, John M. Kelley, a University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate and former attorney for the Ringling Brothers, came up with the idea of creating a museum to preserve the rich history of the American circus.

In 1972, another UW graduate, William (Bill) Schultz, became executive director of the museum and helped train circus talent who performed across the country.

In the July edition of the Thank You, 72 podcast and radio series, we discuss these alumni and their living legacy of Circus World with Executive Director Scott O’Donnell and Performance Director and Ringmaster Dave SaLoutos (who is also a UW alumnus).

Thank You, 72 celebrates outstanding Badgers from Wisconsin’s 72 counties. It is a way of saying thank you to the people of this state for sending their best to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Both the podcast and radio series feature the inspiring stories of UW alumni who are changing the world.

The podcast will be available to download at and on Apple iTunes and other podcast platforms. The story of Bill Schultz will also be shared on 86 Wisconsin Radio Network stations across the state.

Future guests will include international child ophthalmologist Luxme Hariharan, Native American activist Ada Deer, and world-renowned neuropathologist Ann McKee.

Media Information

Contact: Tod Pritchard,, 608-609-5217, @WisAlumni

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