WASHINGTON D.C. (WIAT) — On Wednesday, Howard University announced that their re-established College of Fine Arts will be named in honor of “Black Panther” star and alumnus Chadwick Boseman.
University president Wayne A. I. Frederick announced plans to re-establish the college in 2018.
“When Chadwick Boseman returned to campus in 2018 to serve as our commencement speaker, he called Howard a magical place,” Frederick said in a press release. “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; Chadwick’s love for Howard University was sincere, and although he did not live to see those plans through to fruition, it is my honor to ensure his legacy lives on through the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.”
Boseman graduated from Howard in 2000, earning a bachelors of fine arts in directing. During his time there he led protests against the incorporation of the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts and Sciences. While protests were unsuccessful at the time, he and other alumni continued to converse with leadership about the importance of a college dedicated solely to fine arts.
“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 remarked in a press release. “His time at Howard University helped shape both the man and the artist that he became, committed to truth, integrity, and a determination to transform the world through the power of storytelling.”
Heading up the college will be Howard alumnus and actress Phylicia Rashad, most known for her role as Clair Huxtable in the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show”. Rashad, who routinely serves as a guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member at many institutions including Howard, was a particularly important mentor to Boseman.
“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 in the release.
Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, added her support of both the re-establishment and Rashad’s appointment.
“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 Ledward-Boseman in the release.