The campus was launched on Tuesday 7th June 2022 at the outskirts of Virunga National Park in Kinigi Sector of Musanze District, Northern Province.
The Head of State hosted them at Urugwiro Village on Wednesday 8th June 2022. He was along with the Minister of Environment, Dr. Jean d’Arc Mujawamariya and the CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi.
Ellen DeGeneres who built the campus is an American television personality and comedian renowned for his talk show dubbed ’The Ellen DeGeneres Show’.
DeGeneres was gifted with the campus by her long-time partner Portia de Rossi considering her love for Diana Fossey, a celebrated gorilla conservationist who died in 1985.
Construction of the multimillion-dollar facility was completed at a cost of US$15 million.
The Ellen Campus established to foster gorilla conservation efforts is an eco-friendly facility which includes three main buildings—the Sandy and Harold Price Research Center, the Cindy Broder Conservation Gallery and the Rob and Melani Walton Education Center—as well as housing for visiting students and researchers.
The official inauguration of Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund was graced by Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente and the CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) among others.
Premier Ngirente said that the launch is an important milestone in conservation of our mountain gorillas, which remains at the heart of Rwanda’s priorities.
He thanked Ellen and Portia for their dedication to Rwanda and long-term passion for the conservation of the mountain gorillas and for continuing the remarkable work of Dian Fossey.
DeGeneres also expressed delight for seeing her dreams becoming a reality.
"I have looked up to Dian Fossey since I was 12 years old, and this past week in Rwanda, I was able to tour the Ellen DeGeneres Campus. It has been so emotional and so incredible to see the impact it has already had," she said at the event.