The Self Family Foundation Announces the Retirement of President Frank Wideman III

Frank Wideman III

Frank Wideman III

Greenwood, S.C. – The Self Family Foundation announced that president Frank Wideman III will retire after 27 years with the Foundation. Mamie Nicholson, the Foundation’s program director, has been named president of the Self Family Foundation and will assume the role on July 1, 2020.

“Frank has been a great asset to our organization and our family. He has represented us well in the community, the state and the Southeast, including his leadership roles in many industry organizations, like the Southeastern Council of Foundations,” said J. C. (Jay) Self III, chairman and trustee of the Foundation. “During Frank’s tenure, we were able to transition our Foundation from a single grant-maker organization to a true multigenerational family foundation. We are grateful to Frank for his dedication to our organization and family, and wish him well in his retirement.”

Wideman joined the Foundation as president in 1993 after retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. He cites several of the Foundation’s accomplishments as highlights in his career, including the expansion of Montessori education in South Carolina’s public schools; Clemson University’s “Call Me Mister” program, which is designed to increase the number of African American male teachers in the state’s public schools; a $2 million grant to repurpose the former federal building in downtown Greenwood into an arts and cultural district, revitalizing economic life in Uptown Greenwood and beyond; investments to establish the Clemson Center for Human Genetics on the Greenwood Genetic Center campus; and the Greenwood Promise, which guarantees “last-dollar” funding for two years of tuition at Piedmont Technical College for any student who graduates from a Greenwood County public or private high school.

“It has been an enormous privilege to work with the Self Family Foundation and support nonprofits in our community,” said Wideman. “The Self family and the Foundation have made a huge difference in Greenwood over the years and I’m proud to have been part of that.”

Nicholson said she is grateful for the mentoring she received from Wideman.
“I think Frank and I have been one of the best teams in the world of philanthropy with us having this long tenure with the Self Family Foundation,” she said. “It was a wonderful opportunity to work with him for all these years and to have him mentor me into this role.”
Upon his retirement, Wideman plans to continue his involvement on several community boards and looks forward to traveling with his wife and spending time with their grandchildren.

Organized in 1942, the Self Family Foundation has been part of the Greenwood community for five generations. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $70 million in grants to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Greenwood and the state of South Carolina. The Foundation’s primary areas of emphasis are education, community wellness, arts, culture and history. For more information, including grant application guidelines and procedures, visit


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