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Our Mission

The mission of the Madison A. and Lila Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program (the “SELF Program”) is to develop passionate engineering and computer science graduates who are strongly goal-oriented and who bring the business skills and vision needed to guide the technology-based corporations of tomorrow. The SELF Program will recruit, select and financially supApply Nowport students at the University of Kansas and administer to them an ongoing four-year personal development program that leads to a continuing supply of exceptional graduates at the bachelor of science level. By active participation in the program, the students will expand and refine their leadership, managerial, business, interpersonal, entrepreneurial, communication and engineering skills through mentoring, coursework, seminars and leadership opportunities. Graduates from the SELF Program will possess the personal attributes needed to become effective leaders who are motivated to make a real difference during their careers.

About the SELF Program

The Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program was established in 2007 as the result of a contribution to the KU Endowment Association from Madison “Al” and Lila Self. The Selfs’ intention for the program is to identify and develop students who have a passion for engineering and possess a “fire in the belly” mentality.

In the fall of 2007, 15 freshmen were welcomed into the program. Currently, the SELF Program has four classes of undergraduate students, totaling 101 participants. The Program graduated its first class of Fellows in the spring of 2011 and currently has over 60 alumni.

What SELF Fellows Do

The SELF Program Fellows participate in a wide range of activities and have established themselves as leaders across campus. The students invite leaders of industry such as Brian McClendon, co-creator of Google Earth, and Sam Gilliland, former CEO of Sabre Holding Company, to put on seminars and lectures. The Fellows have coordinated and helped with numerous events throughout campus. They run the Engineering High School Design Competition and Flapjacks for Philanthropy, an annual breakfast buffet of pancakes that raises funds for a selected charity or group in the community. The Fellows have participated in over 100 student groups and helped bring innovative ideas to KU and the School and Engineering.

About 30 incoming freshmen with a track record of motivation, leadership and action will be selected for this innovative program. SELF Fellows will receive an outstanding enrichment and leadership program paired with $6,000 in fellowship funds in both the freshman and sophomore years and $8,000 in each of the junior and senior years.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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