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KU officials issue statements on death of Madison 'Al' Self

Fri, 01/18/2013

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas officials are mourning the death of alumnus Madison “Al” Self, of Hinsdale, Ill. He died Sunday, Jan. 13, in Hinsdale at the age of 91. A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence.

Self and his wife, Lila, are among KU’s most generous donors. The Selfs’ lifetime giving to KU totals more than $44 million. ThMadison "Al" Selfeir generosity created the Madison A. and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship, the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program, the Mossberg Pharmacy Professorship and the Society of Self Fellows.

Both native Kansans, Al and Lila met as KU students and married in 1943, the year that Al earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 2000, Al Self was honored with the School of Engineering’s Distinguished Engineering Service Award. The university awarded him a Distinguished Service Citation in 1997. In 2010, he was recognized as a Life Trustee of KU Endowment.

In 1947, the Selfs acquired Bee Chemical Co. in Lansing, Ill. Self used his technical and business skills to guide the firm from a three-person operation to an international producer of polymers and polymer coatings for use on plastics. When they sold the company 37 years later, it had five U.S. manufacturing sites and operations in Japan and England. Al later served as chairman and CEO of Tioga International. At the time of his death, he was president of Allen Financial LLC.

Al Self spent most of his working years living in the Chicago area; he and Lila had lived in Hinsdale since 1966. He was preceded in death by his son, Murray Alan Self. Survivors include his wife, Lila Self; a daughter-in-law, Anne Self; and grandsons, Milo and Aran Self.

KU officials issued the following statements:

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little:  “Al Self was a visionary and true friend of the University of Kansas. Together with Lila, he changed the lives of countless students. Thanks to their generosity, those students have become leaders and are helping people around the world, further extending the Selfs’ legacy of generosity.”

Howard Mossberg, dean emeritus of the School of Pharmacy and vice chancellor emeritus, Research and Graduate Studies: "Mr. Self, along with Lila Self, have been one of the most thoughtful benefactors to the University of Kansas over the last 25 years. It was my privilege to work with them in regard to the Graduate Self Fellowship Program, and in establishing other areas of support for KU. The legacy of the Selfs’ giving to KU places them among KU’s most thoughtful and generous donors.”

Stan Rolfe, interim dean of KU School of Engineering: “Al Self’s vision of creating the Al and Lila Self Undergraduate Leadership Scholarships was superb. In fact, their scholarships are among the most prestigious of any at KU. Since they created these scholarships, hundreds of students have benefited from their vision and generosity. These students have gone on to become true leaders in their professions. Al and Lila Self’s legacy to the School of Engineering will benefit students as long as there is a University of Kansas.”

Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment: “Al Self was a KU alumnus who recognized the university’s positive influence on his life’s successes, and for that, he demonstrated an extraordinary affection for the University of Kansas. The philanthropic plans that he and Lila developed during his lifetime will forever have a powerful and positive impact on the educational experiences of KU students.”

 



Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. http://t.co/c6Ss0FsWLL #KUworks http://t.co/FW0eI69uRi
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


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