Howard University has named its re-established College of Fine Arts after the late Chadwick Boseman, who graduated from the school in 2000 with a bachelor of arts degree in directing. Boseman’s former mentor, Phylicia Rashad, was also recently named the Dean of Fine Arts.
In a press release from Howard, his widow Simone Ledward-Boseman described him as “a very proud Bison” whose growth was inspired deeply by his experience at the university and his tutelage under Rashad.
“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,” she said.
Congratulations to all the future students of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts!
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) May 26, 2021
In 1997, while Boseman was still attending, the administration decided to merge the College of Fine Arts into the College of Arts and Sciences. The merger upset many students and led to a multi-day demonstration led by the young Boseman. Years later, he and other alumni would continue to advocate for the reinstatement of the College of Fine Arts.
In 2018, Boseman returned to the university as commencement speaker. At the ceremony, University President Wayne AI Frederick announced plans to re-establish the College of Fine Arts as an independent college.
President Frederick revealed that Boseman looked forward to re-establishment of the college and sought to take an active part in the process, as the actor 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 with the support of his wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, the Boseman family and the Chadwick Boseman Foundation,” Pres. Frederick wrote in a statement to the public.
The university will also be supported by The Walt Disney Company’s Executive Chairman Robert A Iger, who will personally spearhead fundraising efforts to build a new facility for the college and an endowment in Boseman’s honor.
Chadwick Boseman was an extraordinary, gifted, charismatic and kindhearted person, with a tireless commitment to helping others. I am honored to help @howardU raise money to build a new home for their College of Fine Arts. https://t.co/Mjs4xVL2xO
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 26, 2021