Man of Letters

Jacques Bailly, PhD ’97, is profiled in this Cornell Alumni Magazine story about his long-standing role with the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which he won at the age of 14. Since 2003, he has been the bee’s head pronouncer.

“I think it’s kind of amusing, and bemusing, that people pay attention to me, because I’m just there to deliver the words,” says Bailly, a classics professor at the University of Vermont. “All I do is sit there and talk like I normally do, though I try to pronounce words a bit crisper. It just feels like a mini-conversation with each speller.”

A Brown undergrad, Bailly did his Cornell classics dissertation on a lesser-known Platonic dialogue. 


Read the entire Cornell Alumni magazine story. 

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 Jacques Bailly in 1980