UND alum remembers her time on Jeopardy!, meeting Alex Trebek

Stephanie Gagelin competed on the iconic show in 2010 and represented UND.

FARGO, N.D. — Thursday, November 11th marks a very unique 10-year anniversary for Stephanie Gagelin.

“I have gone back and watched it every once in a while. My mom is really a nostalgic person and so she’ll want to dig it out every once and a while like if I am home for the holidays,” admits Gagelin.

The then 19-year-old got the opportunity of a lifetime when she flew to Los Angeles to compete on Jeopardy! College Championship. It was a dream turned to reality for the UND alum who grew up watching the game show nearly every day.

While wearing her university’s logo across her chest, Gagelin lost a competitive first round, but still went home with $5,000 and a new Wii.

“Even just getting to go and be on the stage even if I would have not gotten a single question right, it still would have been a memorable experience,” says Gagelin.

It was a memorable experience for UND as well. The Grand Forks native was proud to represent her university and thinks back with a smile to the viewing party held on campus when her episode aired.

Another big moment for Stephanie was getting to meet the show’s legendary host, Alex Trebek, who sadly passed away from cancer earlier this week.

“He is just really a class act,” says Gagelin of Trebek. “He was just always interested in what we had to say. There are a lot of contestants throughout the years, but I am sure he made them feel special just like he did for me.”

With the loss of Trebek, the iconic show is in store for some changes.

A lot has changed in Stephanie’s life since her time on the show, but that hasn’t stopped her from watching and she has no plans to do so anytime soon.

“It is definitely still an important part of my life and my family’s life. Something that I will continue to tune into even if they get a new host,” said Gagelin.

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