The newly reestablished College of Fine Arts at Howard University is being named in honor of alumnus Chadwick Boseman. The news comes just weeks after the announcement of alumna and actress Phylicia Rashad as dean of the college.
During his tenure at Howard, Boseman led a student protest against the absorption of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts & Sciences. Long after graduating, he, along with other alumni, continued to engage in conversations with Howard University administration––their efforts were not in vain. Plans to re-establish the College of Fine Arts were announced in early 2018.
“When Chadwick Boseman returned to campus in 2018 to serve as our commencement speaker, he called Howard a magical place. During his visit, I announced our plans to reestablish the College of Fine Arts and he was filled with ideas and plans to support the effort in a powerful way,” said Howard University President Frederick.
A native of South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. During his tenure, he had the fortunate opportunity to be trained and mentored by Rashad, who recognized his talent early on. “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,” said Rashad, who is elated about the news of Boseman’s recognition.
“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,” said Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman. “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.”
The Walt Disney Company’s Executive Chairman Robert A. Iger will lead fundraising efforts in honor of Boseman to build a new, state-of-the-art facility to house the college and an endowment for the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
“Chadwick Boseman was an extraordinarily gifted, charismatic and kind-hearted person whose incredible talent and generous spirit were clearly reflected in his iconic performances, including as King T’Challa in ‘Black Panther,’ and in his tireless commitment to helping others,” said Iger. “Through his tremendous example he inspired millions to overcome adversity, dream big and reach beyond the status quo, and this College named in his honor at his beloved Howard University will provide opportunities for future generations of artists to follow in his footsteps and pursue their dreams.”