Bailey Family Foundation to Receive Award from UT at Commencement

Published: May 7, 2009
The University of Tampa will recognize the Bailey Family Foundation for its long-time commitment to higher education when it presents the Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida Award to the foundation at its May 9 commencement.

The foundation provides more than $2 million a year in scholarships to 400 high school seniors and college students with financial need who have demonstrated scholastic achievement and a high level of community involvement. Each year a luncheon is held at UT to recognize recipients who have chosen to attend the University.

In 2002, the Bailey Family Foundation gave $2 million to the University to construct the R.K. Bailey Art Studios, which houses the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery. The following year, The Bailey Family Foundation also made a gift of $100,000 to the Bailey Student Investment Fund, now a $150,000 investment portfolio managed by students.

The Bailey Family Foundation was established in 1997 by Ron K. Bailey to improve the availability and quality of post secondary education. Bailey, who served on the UT Board of Trustees from 2001 through 2007, started the Bailey Family Foundation after serving as president of Strayer University. While there, he improved the curriculum and increased enrollment from 1,000 to 14,000. Bailey retired to Tampa in 2001 to focus on the Bailey Family Foundation.

His son Kyle Bailey ’95 and Kyle’s wife, Michele ’95, also have endowed a personal scholarship fund, and Kyle Bailey also sits on the UT Board of Trustees.

The C.H.I.E.F. Award is the highest honor presented by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida Council of Presidents, the leadership of Florida independent higher education. The C.H.I.E.F. Award is bestowed only upon distinguished individuals who represent the greatest support of independent higher education in Florida. Previous award winners with ties to The University of Tampa include Gov. Bob Martinez, Alfred S. Austin ’47, John H. and Susan Sykes, and the Honorable David A. Straz Jr. and Catherine Lowry Straz.