University Regent M. Al Self, 1921-2013

University Regent and treasured philanthropist, Madison “Al” Self died on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at the age of 91. Al is survived by his wife of 69 years, Lila, and was preceded in death recently by his son, Murray.

Al served the university for more than three decades. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1980, was elected a Life Trustee in 1994, and in 2005 joined Robert A. Pritzker and Robert W. Galvin in being elected to the esteemed position of University Regent.

One of IIT’s most generous benefactors, Al left an indelible mark on the university. His vision that universities could be crucibles for the inspiration of leaders in society – starting with undergraduates – led to the creation of IIT’s Self Leadership Academy. Al’s philanthropy supported leadership studies, student scholarships, Interprofessional projects, entrepreneurship, and provided general support for the university’s top priorities.

President John Anderson commented that through the creation of the Leadership Academy Al and Lila Self had a transformational effect on the university.  “This unique program has elevated the entire campus,” said Anderson.  “Not only does it develop outstanding leadership skills in those students directly supported by the scholarships provided by Al Self, but it also reaches hundreds of students each year through the activities of the Leadership Retreat and the leadership programs on campus.  We all talk about leadership; Al Self did something tangible to encourage its development.  The Selfs never will be forgotten at IIT.”

President Emeritus Lew Collens who worked closely with Self for many years commented that “Al and Lila have transformed the lives of countless IIT graduates who will be leaders in their professions and within our global alumni community, thus extending the Self’s legacy of generosity for generations.”

At a recent reunion of Leadership Academy scholars and alumni, Brian Kibbe ’12, former president of the Student Government Association expressed his appreciation to Al and Lila Self: “I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for your generosity, your time, your money, your energy, your passion for leadership and the students at IIT.”

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Church of Oak Brook, 501 Oak Brook Road, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523.