comScore Howard University Renames College of Fine Arts for Chadwick Boseman

Howard University Renames College of Fine Arts After Chadwick Boseman

The beloved actor was a distinguished alum of the HBCU.

image: Film Frame ©Marvel Studios 2018 Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)

Chadwick Boseman may no longer be with us, but his legacy will live on. Howard University is renaming its College of Fine Arts after the beloved Black Panther actor. Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer last August at only 43, graduated from Howard in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing. Boseman stayed involved with Howard long after his graduation, and had planned to serve on the board of the fine arts college. He was also developing a Master’s Class series for students before his passing.

Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said, “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,” Frederick said. “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.”

Iger will personally lead fundraising efforts 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. Afer his death, Howard students circulated a petition to have the fine arts college renamed for Boseman, which garnered nearly 60,000 signatures.

“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. 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,” said Iger.

Alumna and actress Phylicia Rashad was recently named as Dean of the college. Rashad, a mentor to Boseman, said, “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 Boseman family released a statement saying, “We would like to thank President Wayne A. I. Fredrick and the Howard University Board of Trustees for honoring our beloved Chad with the renaming of the reestablished College of Fine Arts. We would also like to thank Bob Iger for spearheading the fundraising efforts of this development, … 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.”

Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward-Boseman added, “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.”

Many took to Twitter to pay tribute to Boseman:

(via Washington Post, image: Marvel)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.