UMKC announces B.S. in Clownology for fall 2013

Elizabeth Golden

Starting fall 2013, the College of Arts and Sciences will be adding a degree in Clownology to its degree options.

Dr. Francis Bozo, Professor of Face Painting, first imagined adding a degree aimed toward the study of being a clown in 1963 after a famous television clown hit his peak.

“I was just relaxing and watching some television when I saw this show about an unusual red-haired clown,” Bozo said. “I started thinking what all goes into being a clown, so I began researching.”

Bozo was working toward his Ph.D at the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, when he decided to change his thesis paper idea.

“I was originally doing my thesis on the abstract study and analysis of painting the face,” he said. “Then the idea hit me. There was so much potential in Clownology.”

He developed his thesis, which was then picked up by the Ringling Brothers Circus and he was offered the position of Clownology scientist. During the 2001 circus tour, Bozo found himself stranded in Kansas City and happened to come across UMKC.

“That tour bus accidentally leaving me behind was probably the best thing to ever happen to me,” he said.

Bozo began sculpting his plan for a degree in Clownology shortly after receiving the position of Professor of Face Painting, where he currently works in the Theatre department. His proposition was passed in fall 2012 after the University felt a dire need for Clownology.

“Kids kept walking by in their full-fledged clown suits, but I could tell they didn’t fully appreciate what they were wearing,” Bozo said. “I just wanted them to understand the history of those bright boots and squishy noses.”

The Clownology core curriculum will include classes, such as the art of the unicycle, history of the uniform and the science of cannon shooting.

“Those poor clowns walking around the campus will be orphans no more,” Bozo said.

The university will debate the addition of advanced degrees, including a master’s in car stuffing, within the month.

For more information on Clownology, don’t visit the website.

Happy April Fools Day.

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