Chadwick Boseman is still receiving well-deserved accolades months after his untimely passing. HBCU Howard University has announced that its College of Fine Arts will be renamed after the late actor.
His family said in a statement, 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. 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. 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.”
The announcement comes just after actress Phylicia Rashad was named dean of the department. Rashad, along with Denzel Washington, notably raised funds for Boseman and other students to attend the Oxford Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy at Balliol College, located in Oxford, England. Following Boseman’s death, Rashad reflected on Boseman via Rolling Stone, describing him as “one of the greatest actors ever.”
Chadwick Boseman’s wife Simone Ledward-Boseman also said, “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. 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.”
Chadwick Boseman, who graduated from Howard in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing, has often saluted Phylicia Rashad for training and mentoring him during his time as a student there. Boseman died in August 2020 at the age of 43 after suffering from colon cancer.
“We are very excited. This is the right thing to do,” Howard President Wayne A. I. Frederick said in a statement. “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.” Frederick also confirmed that Boseman had served on the college’s board prior to his death and had planned to implement a Master’s Class series for HU students.
Phylicia Rashad said of the renaming, “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.”
The moment is certainly full circle as Boseman also previously fought for the College of Fine Arts to remain its own entity, and not be grouped into the College of Arts & Sciences.