Redbird actors Sean Hayes and Jeff Perry are lending their talents to a new Illinois State University television commercial that highlights students and alumni pursuing their passions around the globe.

The 30-second Imagine Your Future spot will formally debut Saturday, September 6, during the Comcast SportsNet Chicago broadcast of Illinois State football’s home opener against Mississippi Valley State. The video is available now on Illinois State’s YouTube channel.

Hayes, an Emmy-winning actor and producer best known for his work on Will & Grace, appears in the video. Perry, who co-stars on the hit ABC series Scandal, provides narration for the video. Both have visited Illinois State in recent years—Perry for commencement and Hayes for Founders Day.

“We wanted to reflect several things: Illinois State’s inviting campus atmosphere, its scope, its tradition, and its commitment to the journey of each individual student,” said R.C. McBride, assistant director in University Marketing and Communications. “That’s a lot to squeeze into 30 seconds, but we’re happy with the result. During testing with faculty, staff, and alumni audiences, you could see the pride on their faces as the video played.”

The video also features students following their passions on campus and overseas. Peace Corps master’s student Hillary Smith is shown during her recent trip to the Dominican Republic, and Nathaniel Yanz and Thomas Fitzgerald from the College of Business’ Katie School of Insurance are spotted in front of Big Ben in London. There are several other people and places highlighted as well.

The video, which becomes Illinois State’s primary institutional spot, was produced by University Marketing and Communications and Colorado-based Modus Persona.

Ryan Denham can be reached at