Netflix have announced a partnership with Howard University which will see the streaming funding the $5.4 million Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship which is named after the late actor. Netflix provided the platform for Boseman's final roles where he actually appeared on screen in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and it seems fitting that they should step up to provide the four-year scholarship to new students of the Howard University's College of Fine Arts which was renamed after Boseman earlier this year.
"It is with immense pleasure and deep gratitude that we announce the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of alumnus, Chadwick Boseman, whose life and contributions to the arts continues to inspire," said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D. "This scholarship embodies Chadwick's love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students. I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick's wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward-Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift."
Netflix's scholarship will cover the tuition fees of the course for incoming students and has the full support of Boseman's family. As stated in the press release, the scholarship "will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts, reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need." One scholarship will be granted per class from this Fall and will be given out annually to freshmen students.
"Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning. We hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education. This endowment represents Chad's devotion to the craft, his compassion for others and his desire to support future storytellers," added Ledward-Boseman. "My deepest thanks to Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and our family at Netflix for their generous investment into the education of all present and future Boseman Scholars, and to President Wayne Frederick, Dean Phylicia Rashad and Mr. David Bennett for their partnership and continued commitment to Chad's legacy at Howard. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at the love and dedication shown by so many continuing to honor my husband's work. I know he'd be proud."
Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said: "It is with enormous pride that we announce our endowment of the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship. While he was taken from us too soon, his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he has inspired. He always spoke of his time at Howard and the positive way it shaped his life and career. Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future superheroes a chance to experience the same. We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick's whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible."
The first recipients of the scholarship were announced today as musical theatre freshmen Sarah Long, acting sophomore Shawn Smith, theater arts administration junior Janee' Ferguson and dance senior Deirdre Dunkin. The scholarship will no doubt lead to many people taking the first steps to getting their dream career who would otherwise have not had the chance to make their mark in the same way Boseman did due to financial constraints.
As well as his on-screen appearances in his final Netflix movies, Chadwick Boseman's final voice over role reprising his Black Panther role of T'Challa can currently be seen in Marvel's What If...? on Disney+.