Howard University's newly re-established college of fine arts will be named after late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. Before Boseman was known worldwide for his role as T'Challa along with many other acclaimed performances, the actor studied directing at Howard University. It was where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts to prepare for a successful career in Hollywood.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the university's college of fine arts, led by Dean Phylicia Rashad, will officially be named the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. The move is to honor the life and legacy of the beloved actor and Howard alumnus, who passed away in August 2020. The Boseman family has since commented no the news with a statement released to the press.
"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 statement reads in part. "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."
The family added:. "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."
"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," Boseman's wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, also said. "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."
While studying the art of directing, Boseman developed a particularly close bond with Phylicia Rashad. The Cosby Show star served as a mentor for Boseman during these formative years, playing a big role in the success that was to come for the future Hollywood legend. It's certainly fitting that Rashad will serve as Dean at the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts.
"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," Rashad said in a statement of her own.
This is all great news, but better yet, The Walt Disney Company's executive chairman Bob Iger says much more will be done to further honor Boseman. Iger will lead fundraising efforts to help build a new facility for the college and an endowment in Boseman's name.
"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," Iger explained, via Variety. "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."
The pain of losing Boseman is still felt by many, but it's clear that his legacy will live on forever. Rest in peace, Chadwick. This news comes to us from Variety.