The Student Endowed Centennial Lectureship was established in 1983 as a gift from students in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of The University of Texas at Austin. SECL hosts visits by distinguished scholars and public figures, and the lectureship is designed to expose students to a wide range of philosophies, perspectives, and issues through access to and close contact with persons who have attained distinction in their chosen field. These lecturers, called Centennial Fellows, spend significant time interacting with students while on campus.

Recommendations for lecturers are submitted by a council comprised of sponsoring student leadership organizations: The Friar Society, Orange Jackets, Texas Spirits, Silver Spurs, Texas Cowboys, Texas Blazers, Senate of College Councils, Student Government, UT Leadership and Ethics Institute, College Republicans, Queer Student Alliance, University Panhellenic Council, University Residence Hall Association, Campus Events + Entertainment, University Democrats, Absolute Texxas, Tejas, and Alpha Epsilon Delta.