Jim Self (1919-1998)

Jim Self (1919-1998)

The broad engagement of the Self Family Foundation in Greenwood County came from a singular vision. In 1942, the late James C. Self, founder of Greenwood Mills, created the Foundation to help construct and maintain a modern hospital for the community of Greenwood. Today, Self Regional Healthcare (opened in 1951 as Self Memorial Hospital) operates as one of the state’s finest hospitals, an ongoing tribute to James C. Self.

When the hospital was completed, the Self family’s commitment to community continued. On his death in 1955, James C. Self was succeeded as Chairman of the Foundation by his only child, Jim Self (1919-1998). Under Jim Self’s leadership, the Foundation remained true to the principles established by his father, but Jim also sought to meet the new challenges brought by rapid social and economic change in South Carolina.

For four decades, the Foundation focused on building much-needed infrastructure in health care and education and improving the quality of life in Greenwood County. Realizing the huge potential in genetics research to cure birth defects and mental retardation in children, Jim Self was a primary force in establishing the Greenwood Genetics Center, now a world class research facility.

In 1996, Jim Self passed leadership of the Foundation to his children with the election of his daughter, Virginia Preston Self, as chair. Under the leadership of the third generation, the Foundation focused its efforts on school readiness, community wellness, intellectual and social development of youth, and cultural opportunities.

The work of the third generation is characterized by the support of programs that mobilize local resources, work collaboratively, encourage public involvement and produce measurable results.

The Foundation also is developing the leadership of the fourth generation of Self family members, through active participation on its Next Generation Board.

Since 1942, the Self Family Foundation has awarded more than $60 million in grants to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Greenwood and throughout South Carolina. We invite you to review our recent grants and the achievements of our grantees.