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Mrs. Cornelia T. Bailey

A lifetime of paying it forward, a legacy of giving back.

Our Foundation

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 her closest friends and family knew her, 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 following in her mother’s footsteps at a young age, developing a lifetime appreciation for classical music, literature, nature, and the arts. Her military upbringing sparked 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 before graduating from 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 around the world.

Glenn and Kelia enjoyed a storybook marriage that took place over fifty-four years. Glenn’s incredible corporate world successes were often attributed to his insight and integrity. However, most who knew him would say he was inspired by his beloved wife's unwavering love and support, whose strength and intelligence were punctuated by her abounding elegance.

As their success grew, so 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 culturally rich communities 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 grassroots organizations that helped bring art and artists into local public school classrooms.

In July 2017, Cornelia’s friends and family said a tearful goodbye. Those who knew her were forever transformed by her elegant soul, artistic spirit, sparkling wit, and 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 their forms and splendors, be accessible and present in the lives of others.

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