Howard University Renames College of Fine Arts for Late Actor Chadwick Boseman

Howard University Renames College of Fine Arts for Late Actor Chadwick Boseman

05/28/2021

“Black Panther” actor graduated with a BA in directing in 2000 and spoke at commencement in 2018.

Brian Welk

Chadwick Boseman speaking at Howard University’s 2018 graduation (Howard University)

The late Chadwick Boseman will have a wing of his alma mater, Howard University, named after him.

Howard University announced today that its college of fine arts, led by Dean Phylicia Rashad, will be renamed the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts for the prolific actor and distinguished alumnus.

Boseman parlayed his time as a Howard Bison into a string of iconic roles such as Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and of course the MCU’s first Black superhero, Black Panther. The A-lister graduated from the university with a bachelor’s of arts degree in directing in 2000. He also earned an honorary doctorate and delivered a rousing commencement address in 2018 following the release of “Black Panther.”

“Chad fought to preserve the College of Fine Arts during his matriculation at Howard and remained dedicated to the fight throughout his career, and he would be overjoyed by this development,” the Boseman family said of the honor.

“His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became,” the family’s statement continued. “Committed to truth, integrity and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling. We are confident that under the dynamic leadership of his former professor and mentor the indomitable Phylicia Rashad that the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts will inspire artistic scholars for many generations.”

Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, also shared her support and pride in the decision.

“I am extremely pleased that Howard University has chosen to honor my husband in this way and elated that Ms. Rashad has accepted the role as Dean,” she said. “Chad was a very proud Bison — both Howard and Ms. Rashad played integral roles in his journey as an artist. The re-establishment of the College of Fine Arts brings this part of his story full-circle and ensures that his legacy will continue to inspire young storytellers for years to come.”

Boseman died in August 2020 from colon cancer at 43.The announcement closely coincides with Rashad’s appointment as dean of the college earlier this year.

Rashad, Tony award winning actress and star of “The Cosby Show,” had served as a mentor to Boseman. In her own statement regarding the news, Rashad expressed her admiration for the beloved actor.

“Unrelenting in his pursuit of excellence, Chadwick was possessed with a passion for inquiry and a determination to tell stories — through acting, writing, and directing — that revealed the beauty and complexity of our human spirit.”


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