Ellen surprises CU

By Gary Brode | gbrode@wcia.com

Published 02/24 2014 01:06PM

Updated 02/25 2014 10:36AM

Latest: 10:13 pm, 2/24/14, Monday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- She's a correspondent for the Ellen Show, and Monday, her life came full circle when she returned to where she got her start. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley shows us the excitement from the UI quad.

Jeannie Klisiewicz graduated from UI in 2008. She wanted to be an elementary teacher until she got the call which changed her life. Klisiewicz had been writing to Ellen for six years. She's traveled the world, but says, this stop will forever be one of her favorites.

"I was so excited when, just a few days ago, they said, 'You know Jeannie, we're going to send you back to your Alma Mater.'"

It all started last week when Ellen sent out a mysterious tweet. Days later, with only an hour to spare, she challenged students to show up on the quad. Ellen asked them to dress in costumes from their favorite movie and they didn't disappoint.

"Why so serious? Let's put a smile on this face."

"I'm Sophia Grace and Rosie!"

"My name is Ron Burgundy."

Some were into their characters more than others.

"I'm here to report the news obviously. Also, I'm a big fan of Ellen's. We go out for scotch many times a week."

Klisiewicz picked her favorite costumes out of the crowd and interviewed them all during a taping for the show. UI sophomore Tad Logullo won best costume and is being flown out to the show next week.

"It was a dream honestly. I've been doing that impression forever. People actually got to see it. My mom is gonna freak! My mom's gonna freak out!"

A lot of dreams came true. It's an experience Klisiewicz says she experiences a lot now, but this day, was something special.

"The fact that I get to come here now and represent her and tie school and Ellen together. I get emotional talking about it. It's a really cool thing for me and I feel so lucky getting to experience it."

Ellen's team says more than 2,000 people showed up. The episode airs Wednesday, right here on CBS WCIA-3.
Latest: 6:08 pm, 2/24/14, Monday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- You might have thought it was Halloween on the UI campus Monday, but students were dressed up for a special announcement. The hype was over a segment for the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

DeGeneres hosts the Oscars on Sunday, but she had some business to attend to at the UI Monday. The syndicated talk show host took to Twitter to ask UI students to gather on the Quad at 3 pm. She urged them to dress up as their favorite movie character.

Hundreds showed up in homemade costumes. Ellen talked to the students live via satellite from the show's Burbank, California studio. The segment will air on WCIA-3 during Wednesday's show.
Latest: 10:11 pm, 2/23/14, Sunday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Famous talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has picked a venue for Monday's event. She tweeted this earlier "Tomorrow, I have a big surprise for the University of Illinois. Be on the Quad at 3 pm. Don't say I didn't warn you."
Update: 10:06 pm, 2/22/14, Saturday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Famous talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is doing something special for her Central Illinois fans.

She tweeted Saturday: "You know what I was just thinking? I bet it's gonna be beautiful in Illinois on Monday. Probably for my Twitter followers, specifically."

Ellen is expected to tweet more information about the event throughout the day Monday.
Original: 6:08 pm, 2/22/14, Saturday
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Famous talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has a surprise in store for people in Urbana-Champaign. Monday, she'll stream in via satellite to talk to fans.

It will take place somewhere on the UI campus, but it's not known where. Ellen will tweet more information about the event throughout the day Monday.

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