Dr. Trisha M. Bailey, a multimillionaire of Jamaican descent and a graduate of the University of Connecticut, recently made history at her alma mater when it was revealed that she had “committed a major lead donation” to support the development of a cutting-edge student-athlete facility.
Bailey’s giving “represents the highest monetary contribution ever received from a UConn alumnus, and the largest gift devoted directly to UConn Athletics,” according to a statement released by UConn on October 14. However, Bailey did not disclose how much she gave.
Bailey was a member of UConn’s cross country and track & field teams and part of the graduating class of 1999. “Trisha Bailey is an American success story that has its roots in the classroom and in competition at UConn,” the university’s Director of Athletics, David Benedict, said, per FOX 61. “She is the ideal model for our student-athletes to aspire to become champions in all they pursue well after their playing days are over.”
Benedict added: “Her unprecedented and transformational generosity will dramatically elevate the academic, nutrition, and mental wellness needs for all of our more than 600 student-athletes, it also will provide a new home to six of our Olympic sports – five of which are women’s programs.”
As a token of appreciation for her historic donation, the university said its UConn Board of Trustees has recommended the facility be named the Bailey Student Athlete Success Center. This is, however, subject to pending approval by the full board on October 26.
According to the statement, the project would involve renovating and expanding by 80,000 square feet the Hugh S. Greer Field House’s existing spaces as well as the previous recreation facility. An academic center, a clinical space for sports medicine and mental health services, a kinesiology teaching space, a rowing practice tank, strength and conditioning equipment, a communal kitchen and nutrition area, and multipurpose training and meeting spaces will all be housed in the facility, according to the university.
The university’s hockey, rowing, swimming, tennis, as well as its men’s and women’s track & field teams will have newly constructed locker rooms.
“The National C Club will also be housed in the facility. Other improvements include a new entry pavilion and reception area, and a landscaped pedestrian way between the facility and the adjacent George J. Sherman Sports Complex,” the statement added.
Bailey graduated from UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1999. She also has an MBA and Ph.D. in organizational leadership.
“It’s not so much the journey that I found to be most important,” Bailey said. “It’s the way I treated those along the way that mattered the most, and when I look at the beginning of it all, UConn was right there.”
Born in Jamaica, Bailey came from a modest background. She grew up in the Caribbean nation with no access to electricity or water, CT Insider reported. At the age of 13, Bailey relocated to the United States with her sister to join their mother and stepfather.
“It was a better life,” Bailey said. “Even though we were in these apartment buildings that are as low-income as you can imagine — we lived in a one-bedroom apartment, and my sister and I slept on the pullout sofa — for me, it was, ‘OK, I have electricity, I don’t have to go outside to use the bathroom.’ I was in luxury land. I didn’t know at the time that we were not rich.”
Bailey’s Pharmacy, Bailey’s Medical Equipment and Supplies, Bailey’s Scrubs, Bailey’s Real Estate, Bailey’s Ideal Choice Homes International Real Estate Division, Bailey Charitable Foundation, and Serenity Ranch are just a few of the businesses the multimillionaire and entrepreneur founded today.
In addition, Bailey owns a portion of the island that surrounds her native Jamaica. On that land, she plans to build a resort. The biggest equestrian farm in Florida belongs to her. It is thought that Bailey is worth between $650 million and $700 million. Additionally, she has contributed over $10 million to charitable causes in the Orlando region.