Ellen DeGeneres has had no shortage of gifts for her birthday. The talk show host, who turned 60 last Friday, received birthday wishes from Justin Timberlake, flowers from Chance the Rapper, a sexy serenade from Dax Shepard and CVS goodies from Michelle Obama. But it was a thoughtful present from wife Portia de Rossi that moved DeGeneres to tears.
In a surprise appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that aired Thursday, de Rossi presented her wife with the gift to end all gifts.
“It’s your 60th birthday, and this gift had to be really special and it had to represent who you are and what you really care about,” de Rossi said. “So, I combined that with the fact that literally guys, for like the last two years, Ellen has said to me, ‘I feel like I’m not doing enough.’ Every day, almost. So, I put all that together and I got you this gift.”
De Rossi then played a recorded birthday message that highlighted DeGeneres’ hero, Dian Fossey, an American scientist who studied gorillas in Africa. Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda to observe and protect mountain gorillas.
Though she was murdered in 1985, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund continues her work. And now, thanks to de Rossi, the fund will have an Ellen DeGeneres Campus.
“So, for your birthday, Ellen, I am bringing you and your hero Dian together by building the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund,” de Rossi said. “Ellen, you will carry on Dian’s legacy by giving them a permanent home in Rwanda.”
“Now, you will join Dian as a protector and champion of these amazing animals, the mountain gorillas,” de Rossi added. “Happy birthday.”
Is anyone else getting misty-eyed, or is that just us?
The campus will be the first initiative of The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, a foundation de Rossi set up in her wife’s name.
An emotional DeGeneres wiped away tears after the announcement.
“It’s the best gift,” DeGeneres said. “When we got married, Portia’s line was, ‘It’s good to be loved. It’s profound to be understood.’ And she understands me, because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me.”
Check out the tear-filled moment below.