Campus Features

Ellen DeGeneres Show visits Illinois' Quad

2/25/2014  8:00 am

After television personality Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that “big things” were going to happen Monday on the Illinois Quad, nearly 3,500 people gathered there, many dressed up as movie characters, for the chance to win prizes and hear from Ellen DeGeneres via satellite.

image of costume contest participants 

Producers searched through the excited crowd to find finalists for the best-dressed contest. The finalists then had to do an impression of their character by reciting a movie line. In the end, sophomore Tad Logullo won tickets to The Ellen DeGeneres Show as Joker, and the finalists received $500 American Express gift cards.  

Illinois alumna Jeannie Klisiewicz acted as the on-air host of the remote broadcast on the Quad. Klisiewicz, who graduated with an elementary education degree in 2008, works on the show as a production coordinator.

 image of remote host and alumna Jeannie Klisiewicz

Klisiewicz said she would watch The Ellen DeGeneres Show every day before class when she was a student. After entering more than 100 of Ellen’s contests, the host offered the former Illini a full-time job. Monday was Klisiewicz’s first time back on campus since her graduation.

“It’s surreal,” she said. “It brings me back to a really happy, wonderful time in my life. I loved being on campus.”

She said, even though she was preparing to be a teacher, being a student at Illinois prepared her for being comfortable on camera.

“I went to a really small grade school and high school and I had really great experiences in both,” she said. “But I was not used to being in such a large community. And Illinois taught me how to take all those people, all those professors, all those classes and bring it down into your own little world.”

To learn more about Jeannie Klisiewicz, read her story in the Daily Illini.

See more images from this event on Facebook.

See the Ellen DeGeneres Show featuring Illinois here.

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