THE CORNELIA T. BAILEY FOUNDATION
A lifetime of paying it forward, a legacy of giving back.
The Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation was founded in 2007 due to the generosity of Mrs. Cornelia Tarrant Bailey, the widow of Glenn W. Bailey. Cornelia, or “Kelia” as she was known by friends and family, was the daughter and granddaughter of U.S. Army Brigadier Generals and was born while her father was stationed in Panama, Central America in 1930. Kelia began to follow in her mother’s footsteps at a young age developing what would become a lifetime appreciation for classical music, literature, nature and the arts. Her military upbringing sparked in her a deep love of country and a thirst to witness beauty within its borders. Before marrying the love of her life in 1952, Cornelia earned a degree in art history from Wellesley College, the third generation in her family to do so.
Glenn Bailey served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Engineering and Harvard Business School. Glenn’s business sense, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for improving companies as Chairman of Bairnco Corporation led the Baileys to travel around the world.
Glenn and Kelia enjoyed a storybook marriage that took place over fifty-four years. Glenn’s incredible successes in the corporate world were oftentimes attributed to his insight and integrity. However, most who knew him would say that he was inspired by the unwavering love and support of his beloved wife whose strength and intelligence were punctuated by her abounding elegance.
As their success grew, so too did their commitment to the communities they loved. Glenn and Cornelia supported organizations and programs in the regions of Jupiter Florida, Darien Connecticut and New York City. Theirs was a quiet form of philanthropy centered on education, outreach for our veterans, medical research and most significantly the arts. After losing Glenn, Kelia looked to her own art as a source of enjoyment and healing. Gradually, Cornelia found her way back into the arts community and, knowing life would never be the same, enjoyed the familiar feeling of comfort and peace in the presence of art.
Kelia’s commitment to nurturing communities rich in culture was evident in her support of many exhibits and programs throughout Palm Beach, Martin and Miami-Dade counties. She believed that keeping the arts alive could only be achieved by igniting that passion in the hearts of our youth. To this end, Cornelia supported many youth programs and various grass-roots organizations that helped to bring art and artists into local public-school classrooms.
In July, 2017 Cornelia’s friends and family members said a tearful goodbye. Those who knew her were forever transformed by her elegant soul, her artistic spirit, her sparkling wit and indeed her tremendous generosity. Inspired by her thoughtful and insightful input, the trustees appointed by Cornelia are tasked with continuing her legacy and fulfilling her wish that the arts, in all its forms and splendors, be accessible and present in the lives of others.