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Wisconsin Alumni Association launches Thank You, 72 podcast and radio series

First episode, Juneau County native and former Gov.Tommy Thompson.

March 13, 2019

MADISON, WI (March 13, 2019) — The Wisconsin Alumni Association today announced the launch of a new podcast and radio series.

Thank You, 72 will celebrate 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 and brightest to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Both the podcast and radio series will 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. These stories will also be shared each month on 86 Wisconsin Radio Network stations across the state.

“These trailblazers are a positive force of change in Wisconsin and around the nation,” says Sarah Schutt, chief alumni officer and executive director of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. “Everyone in Wisconsin can feel proud of these Badgers and hear how they are representing the state and UW in a new and easily accessible way.”

For the first interview, Thank You, 72 sits down with Juneau County native and former governor Tommy Thompson, and the coauthor of his autobiography, Doug Moe.

Born in Elroy on November 19, 1941, he earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1963 and 1966, respectively. Fresh out of law school, he won a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1966 when the incumbent, underestimating the young Thompson, went on an Alaskan cruise in the middle of the campaign. Thompson became the longest-serving governor in state history and later joined the George W. Bush administration as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Thompson recalls his UW–Madison days, his start in politics, his major accomplishments as governor, and the harrowing days following the 9/11 attacks when he snuck out of a secure bunker and traveled to New York City to help lead the response and recovery. He also describes what makes Wisconsin so special. “The people. It's the people, you know, that are so darn nice, so productive and so caring,” said Thompson.

Future guests will include former Badger football player JJ Watt, journalist Greta Van Susteren, Native American activist Ada Deer, and world-renowned neuropathologist Ann McKee.

Media Information

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

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