Orthographers Rejoice!

Scripps Regional Bee is Back in Person

Scripps National Spelling Bee logo

March 6, 2024 — The University of Memphis will again play host to the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee for West Tennessee, returning to an in-person event after the pandemic compelled a virtual version.

The highly anticipated scholarly competition will take place from noon-5 p.m. Friday, March 22, in the Michael D. Rose Theatre on the UofM’s Central Campus.

Winners from 68 schools in the West Tennessee grand division will be competing for the opportunity to advance to the 96th Scripps National Spelling Bee that begins May 26 in National Harbor, Maryland.

“We are excited to bring the Scripps Bee back to campus,” said Dr. Sally Parish, associate vice president of Educational Initiatives. “While the online competition we offered during the pandemic allowed us to continue the tradition, we are thrilled for schools and families to see our beautiful campus and compete in person once again.”

Hosted by Master of Ceremonies Daniel Wilkerson of FOX13, the Bee will be judged by Otis Sanford of the Daily Memphian and the Institute of Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis, Caroline Bauman of Chalkbeat, Rudy Williams of ABC24 and Christa Fitzgibbons of Memphis Shelby County Schools.

The Regional Spelling Bee is open to school-level winners in 1st through 8th grades. Each school will submit their winners for the competition and the winning regional speller will then advance to the national competition, where upwards of 230 spellers will vie for the ultimate take-home trophy — the Scripps Cup.

These studious spellers could come across any of the 4,000 words included on the Words of the Champions list, the recommended study resource of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In previous years, spellers encountered such words as bourgade, bathypitotmeter and orle. Last year, it was Florida eighth grader Dev Shah’s time to shine after correctly and confidently spelling the word “psammophile” to win the big Bee.

Established in 1925, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been held every year except during WWII from 1943-45 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Three champions have hailed from the Memphis area: Irving Belz in 1951, Geoff Hooper in 1993 and Justin Tyler Carroll in 1995. Their winning words? Insouciant, kamikaze and xanthosis.

For more information or to cover the in-person UofM event, contact Jennifer Godwin.



Jennifer Godwin
Director of Media and Public Relations
(O) 901.678.4822 (M) 501.529.7482

Share this article